Wrap a wrap a wrap

A Friday Haiku

Another week gone

Where do they go? I don’t know

To join dryer socks?

Exercises come and go

If you’re anything like me (and if you are, I apologize), you tend to hate certain exercises and quickly get bored with others.

Running, I’m good to go, even if I sometimes take more days off between runs than I should; I still look forward to my runs and enjoy them (well, except for those first several minutes where you question your own sanity and wonder why you torture yourself so until the endorphins hit, the sun comes out, and the birds sing).

But other exercises I’ve always hated.

Stretching has always been my ultimate nemesis. I could neven touch my toes in grade school (and still can’t). So any stretching regimen I start ends quickly in pain and frustration. I don’t need such negativity in my life. I get it, I’m a failure at flexibility.

Push-ups are another. Loathe them. I don’t know what it is about them, but I really have to force myself to do them. Bench presses, on the other hand, I don’t mind and in fact, when I can feel the burn in my chest, shoulders, and triceps, I become motivated to do extra reps. But push-ups, I just collapse on the floor and give up.

Sit-ups and crunches I hate as well, and not because they sometimes hurt my back. I always need something to hook my feet under or I just sort of thrash away like a turtle on its back. In high school gym it was very embarrassing.

And that must be the reason for my dislike of certain exercises, there is some sort of psychological association with high school gym where all the other boys were towering over me, muscles rippling (think The Crusher from Bugs Bunny), and they could pound out dozens of push-ups, sit-ups, as well as the dreaded chin-up, and throw in an iron cross for good measure, while I’d struggle with my skinny spaghetti limbs trembling and flailing around, never accomplishing anything.

Now that I think about it, high school gym class was exactly like that for me.

Anyway, I meant to talk about how I start doing some exercises, but then quickly forget to do them, but I got off on a tangent on why I skipped gym all the time.

I was noticing a pain or weakness in my hamstrings and buttock the last few weeks when I step up onto something, like curbs or stairs.

Running was causing a strength imbalance and the stretches I attempted weren’t helping.

I realized I had gotten away from doing hamstring curls on my Weider Crossbow and doing rows on my CardioFit. I call them rows, but the machine is like the Tony Little Healthrider (see below).

These machines were all the rage back in the 80s, so I picked mine up at Sears after our stairstepper died (and Sears wouldn’t do anything so I wrote the CEO, then got a whiny letter from the store manager. “Why didn’t you contact me first?” Because I wanted you to squirm). The Healthrider seems more aerobic, with little resistance. My CardioFit has an adjustable piston to increase the resistence, making it more anerobic, although I’ve rarely dialed it past 2 (it goes up to a muscle- and joint-punishing 9).

Sorry, I did it again. The point is, after a week of this cross-training, my hamstrings feel much better.

And I apologize for taking forever to make that point.

Writing and editing and sex

I’d say I’m about 80 to 85% done with my first round of edits for my urban fantasy fairy tale.

This is the first time I’ve read it through. Strangely, I’m still very excited about it. That must mean it’s horrible.

Right now I’m editing for flow and continuity. I see where I called one character Bill, when his name is Benton. That’s what happens when you grab scenes from a trunk novel and don’t do a thorough read to catch things like that.

I’m back to a concern I mentioned several weeks or months ago about the relationship between two of the characters. They’ve known each other for less than a week and they’ve already fallen in love. Yes, I know such things happen in real life, if infrequently. And yes, I’ve read some urban fantasy romances and it seems the characters are jumping in the sack almost immediately. And therefore, I shouldn’t be that worried, but I am.

I’ve never written anything romantic before. I’ve never been concerned with the love lives of my characters. But beyond this being my first attempt at romance, its also my first attempt at writing a sex scene. To be honest, I haven’t even read very many sex scenes.

And this one has two so far. Scenes that, lacking any literary experience in the matter, I don’t know if they come off as hokie, or cliched, or downright boring.

I wonder if I should pass it to some beta readers to get outside reactions?

Weigh-In Friday

Despite only running on Monday, although I did do some weight training, and eating more than my fair share of my wife’s Dairy Queen ice cream birthday cake, my weight is down below 200 pounds at 199.7. Woot!

Designated Driver

For you couples out there, when you go somewhere together, who drives? The man or the woman?

I grew up in a time when men were the drivers and women were passengers.

Lately, I’ve been noticing more women driving with men as passengers and it still looks out of place to me.

Not for any sexist reasons; I certainly don’t believe gender innately makes someone a better or worse driver. Nor do I believe men are somehow ordained to rule over or control women.

In my case, I drive because for one thing, I get carsick as a passenger. For another, I drive my wife crazy because I don’t know what to do with myself as a passenger. I can’t read or play on my phone because of the motion sickness. So, I fidget, tap my feet, or drum my fingers, play with all the dials and switches, and constantly change the radio station. Being a passenger magnifies my ADHD.

So, very early in our relationship, my wife realized it was better for everyone all around if she let me drive.

Then she could read and play on her phone and ignore the fact that I wait until the very last second before applying the brakes.

Finally nearing the end

Since I spent most of this blog going off on attention deficit fueled tangents, I’ll spare you any political rants for the week.

TheRump is still an orange turd though. Never forget. Never normalize his hatred, bigotry, or incivility. Resist.

Enjoy your weekend. Here’s a song to send you off with:

-30-

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Talkin bout Friday

A Friday Haiku

Nothin’ you could say

Could make me not love Friday

Talkin bout Friday!

(My apologies to Mary Wells)

Friday!

WIP wrapup

I finally finished the first draft on the novel I’ve been working on since January. I just typed “the end.” Well, actually, I typed “-30-” the same way I end my blogs and how I’ve ended all my stories forever.

The weird thing was, I could have sworn that I had written down several variations of the ending in my notebook, but I feverishly paged through it and nothing. Nada. Not one word on the ending.

Did I write them all in my head? They seemed so real. So I ended up writing a new ending.

Now I’m debating if I should do the “put it away and forget about it for a while” technique or if I should just jump right in and start editing it.

Most likely, I’ll jump right in. With my poor short term memory, I probably can’t recall much of the story anyway, so there’s no point in trying to distance myself from it.

Besides, I’ve sort of been editing it as I’ve gone along.

Finding the ideal run time

Because I’ve stopped my morning runs, I’ve been looking for a good alternate time to run.

So far, the best time is as soon as I get home before I start preparing dinner.

It’s a somewhat good time because it’s early enough in the evening that my body won’t have all that addrenaline running through it when it’s bedtime.

It doesn’t always work however, if I have to stop at the store for a needed something for whatever meal we’re planning.

Which means, we have to prepare menus ahead of time so we know what needs to be defrosted or what ingredients we don’t have on hand.

Adulting is hard.

Weigh-in Friday

Despite my doctor’s scale reading 204 pounds (it’s one of those old-fashioned ones where they still slide the weights to find a balance point and guess your weight, my home scale thus morning read 199.6 pounds. A slight uptick from my low of 198, but down from a more recent 202 because I had a bad weekend a while back going to Wisconsin State Fair and eating things on a stick and their world famous cream puffs.

WordPress complaint

I write these blogposts on my smartphone and usually I have no issues, except when it comes to creating the headings.

For some reason, they just don’t take. The first one does, but each subsequent heading doesn’t change. While highlighted it shows the heading, “H4” or whatever, but when I unhighlight it, the text is normal. So I’m forced to bold and italicize the headings so you know they’re there until I can edit it at home on my computer. It’s a little frustrating.

Does anyone else have that issue?

US Cellular rebate update

After all the rigamarole we went through, and after waiting all this time (we joined them on June 11th), our rebate cards finally came. As I’ve said before, the entire process of leaving Verizon, joining US Cellular, getting new phones, cost over $2000, which is why people don’t switch cellphone service providers all that often. And after all was said and done, we got $350 in US Cellular cash. That’s better than the $40 they originally were going to give us.

Still, it is basically fake money. They aren’t Mastercard or Visa gift cards. They’re US Cellular cards good only at US Cellular locations. I’ll use it to pay one month’s bill.

And after all that, our bill isn’t any better than it was with Verizon.

I do, however, get reception downtown, which is something I never got with Verizon. So I’ll count my blessings and leave it at that.

Have a Happy weekend!

And that, my friends, is that. I’ll spare you any rants about the orange turd in the Oval Office, although he did give us plenty of ammunition this week to ridicule him with. It’s like he does and says outrageous shit on purpose just to get a reaction or to see how far along he can string his idiotic followers until they finally say, “Uncle. Even we can’t excuse that.” But so far, they’ve bought it all. Sad!

And on that note, let’s get the weekend started with some Little Feat, “Fatman in the Bathtub.”

Enjoy!

-30-

What’s up, Doc?

TMI Warning: The following concerns men’s health issues, specifically mine. If words like urine, prostate, and Trump is an asshole disturb you, then read no further.

Addendum to TMI Warning: My apologies, it seems the words Trump is an asshole only appear in the above warning. My bad.

Went in for my annual physical exam today. Unlike the stereotypical male, who never goes to the doctor except in an ambulance, who takes better premaintenance care of his cars than their own bodies, I do get regular checkups and do go in when I’m not feeling at my best.

As Benjamin Franklin once said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If something feels “off,” I go in. I don’t want to put it off as “nothing,” or think it can wait, because many maladies don’t wait.

What might seem like a passing discomfort could turn out to be something serious and now untreatable. If only you hadn’t ignored it.

Sorry. Not sorry. Lecture over.

If you want to skip past the rest of this, I got a clean bill of health.

To start with, my pulse was 60. My blood pressure was 100/60. And his lying scale said I’m 204 pounds.

The scale, it seems, measures everyone consistently four pounds more than their home scale, he said. He wasn’t sure why that was. I proposed it was because we were clothed and in my case, had my wallet, keys, a knife, and a fidget spinner in my pocket.

He asked about concerns, I asked if I could go off the diuretic he has me on, in addition to a ACE Inhibitor (yeah, my BP was through the roof). I’ve since lost weight, maybe 30 pounds and I’ve been exercising regularly.

He first was thinking of changing BP meds altogether, but when I mentioned I was having dizzy spells recently, he said we were probably over-treating the BP and yes, I could stop the diuretic; I just have to monitor my BP for a while to see where it goes. He also warned that eliminating the diuretic might increase my fluid retention and thus my weight. But since I’m losing weight, that probably won’t be much of a concern.

Another concern I had was the soles of my feet cramp up really bad sometimes, especially when I first lie down to sleep. He said ending the diuretic should take care of that. The diuretic robs the body of potassium, which would then cause cramps. Here I thought it was from running.

I hated that damned diuretic. It made me feel like I was a six years old again getting a sudden urge to rush to the bathroom, dancing while struggling to get unzipped in time, hoping not to wet myself.

He told me the factors that can cause high blood pressure, and the biggest culprit was sodium. I said I rarely salt my food. He said it’s everywhere and most people unknowingly consume 10,000 milligrams a day. The things to avoid are adding extra salt, fast food lime McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, etc. Even regular restaurants often have too much sodium. Soups, canned or otherwise, have a lot of sodium. So does ketchup and especially soy sauce, which is fine, I use ketchup sparingly and soy sauce only when a recipe calls for it.

I confessed my love for heavily salted snack chips and he nodded his shame as well.

He said you can’t completely eliminate salt, even if you got down to just 2,000 milligrams a day, your food would taste like cardboard. So, moderation. Eat as bland as possible.

Damn you, salt! Why must you make food so tasty while killing us?

He then went through my risk factors for heart disease and I’m down to one now. Age, which I can’t do much about.

Except I still feel like a teenager. Why is that?

I’ve lost weight. I quit smoking 22 years ago. I exercise regularly. My cholesterol and BP are controlled through medications. I don’t have diabetes. And heart disease doesn’t run in my family.

Then we discussed my prostate. One in five men die of prostate cancer and that risk only increases with age. By 80, it’s down to one in two.

They used to give a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test, but they’ve stopped that screening because the test was virtually useless. Now they only go by a change in symptoms: size increase (my doctor stopped checking mine years ago), more frequent urination, and a weak stream. Symptoms that might seem obvious but being men, we ignore it or waste money by buying something idiotic like Super Beta Prostate.

Also the test would give false positives. Don’t I know it. I had a scare several years back when my numbers started increasing. The “C” word was spoken in hushed whispers. I went in for a biopsy, which, if they tell you it will be painless, they’re lying. It felt like they were stabbing me with this:

Thankfully, the results were negative and they never did figure out why my numbers had risen, which goes back to why the PSA test was useless.

Then we discussed the Shingles vaccine. I had chickenpox, so the virus is dormant in my spine waiting to send out red hot pokers of pain. He wanted to know if I wanted the vaccine, but suggested I consult my insurance because otherwise it would cost me $450 out of pocket. Medicare doesn’t cover it either.

*takes a deep breath* OK, I’ll spare you a rant on the high cost of medicines and health insurance companies.

Then we talked Hepetitis-C, the baby boomer disease. You know why the commercial calls it that? Because they sell the vaccine! Yeah. They’re scaring people into getting something they don’t need. *takes another calming breath*

The only baby boomers who need to worry about having Hep-C are free love hippies and intervenous drug users. You get Hep-C from unprotected sex and/or dirty needles! They never mention that in the commercial, they make it sound like it’s residing in all baby boomers just because.

After all that he said keep doing what you’re doing. I’m his healthiest patient.

Then I had a vein tapped for routine blood tests and I should know the results by tomorrow. “When was the last time you ate?” 6 o’clock. “This morning,” she said, with a note of irritation. No, last night. “Oh, good.”

After all that, I went to McDonald’s for a steak egg and cheese bagel and hashbrowns.

-30-

Back to thinking mornings suck

As you might remember if you regularly follow my blog, I started running in the morning back in June. I actually was getting up earlier than my normal waking time, by about 45 minutes, so up at 5am, to go for a run.

And considering I have never been a morning person, I was pretty proud of myself for accomplishing that.

Well, guess what? That experiment has failed. “How?” you ask? “By the sun,” I reply.

Yes, the sun. In the longer days of June and July, I’d get up and there was enough predawn light in the bedroom that I could dress without turning on the light and waking my wife. Also, the predawn light acted as a motivator. “Oh, look, Sol is up already. The least I can do is get up as well.”

In other words, dawn was mere minutes away. The sky was turning pretty shades of red, orange, and purple. It was often beautiful.

I did not, however, get up when it was raining.

Why? Because it was dark and gloomy out. I believe I’ve mentioned I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Most people only suffer SAD during the long, overcast days of winter, when there isn’t enough sun.

For me, however, even just one cloudy day can set off my SAD. I’m very sensitive to a lack of sunlight, moreso than most.

Which will explain why as the days grow shorter and the sun rises later, I’ve been struggling the last few weeks to get up.

My alarm goes off, I get up to turn it off, and the darkness beckons me to reset the alarm for 45 minutes later and I get back I to bed. I don’t hit snooze, I actually change the time the alarm goes off.

As it’s gotten darker these last few days in the morning, I’ve just left my alarm set for 5:45 am.

And it will only become an insurmountable obstacle once November 5th gets here and we have to set our clocks back an hour.

Getting up at 4:45 am every morning during the winter will be difficult enough. No way could I set the time for 4 am to get up to run.

I loathe going back to Standard Time.

So, I’m sorry to disappoint all the morning runners, but I’ve returned to evening runs. It was fun while it lasted.

Ok, that’s a lie. Morning running was never fun. I was like an automaton set to autopilot. I ran at one slow, steady speed. Every part of me exceot my legs were still asleep.

I never increased my pace, except for a half-hearted sprint for the last block (60 to 100 yards?). And Inwas only able to increase my distance feom the 1 mile a day in June to about 1.75 miles.

I do not have any gumption in the morning. My brain is asleep, which means my motivation center is as well. I do not have the will needed to say, “Go faster!” even if it’s just to the next tree or to say “Keep going!” once I’ve reached my usual end point.

However, I can do that in the evening. I can force myself to go faster, to run farther.

So my experiment in morning running is over. It was a fail. I never improved as a runner and just barely maintained where I was.

In other words, mornings still suck and I’m glad to be rid of them.

Update rant on US Cellular

We’re still waiting for our rebate for having switched from Verizon to US Cellular. I had to go back to the brick and mortar store to air my displeasure. The rep was understanding, looked everything up, and said he could take care of it, that the previous rep had indeed screwed up. With luck, something I’m lacking, everything is straightened out.

Now we just have to continue to wait even longer for our promised debate and while we waited, I was holding off paying my bill hoping the rebate would come in.

It was due 8 days ago.

This morning, US Cellular cut off our service for lack of payment.

Let me say that again.

I was 8 days late and they cut off my service!

Before someone says, “You didn’t pay your bill and they shut you off and you’re surorised?” consider Verizon never cut off our service. Ever. And there were times where I was several weeks late. In fact, Verizon would accept a “promise to pay” future-dated payment, which sometimes put our lateness as far out as almost a month.

Still, they never shut us off.

In fact, no cellphone company we’ve been with has cut us off after only one week. Not Sprint. Not Cingular. Not AT&T (I think AT&T’s threshold was 15 days).

So I made a payment, with money I don’t have yet, hoping it takes until Friday to reach my bank so I don’t get an insufficient funds penalty.

To add insult to injury, US Cellular added a $25 per line activation fee to turn our service back on, which will appear on our next bill! (I thought their commercials claim they don’t have activation fees?)

I sure hope our rebate comes in before then.

I’m really regretting having made this switch to US Cellular. I’ll give them a few more months bedore I start shopping again.

Cellphone companies suck!

-30-

Friday Roundup

Bad Friday Haiku

Friday makes me glad

It means the weekend is here

And I can sleep in

Obamacare Haiku

They tried to kill us

But Obamacare still lives

Fuck you, GOP

More rain, less run

This was a bad week for running. It rained Tuesday and Thursday so I didn’t run (yes, I know I have a treadmill) and today I just felt blah, which seems to becoming a usual feeling.

I just seem to be lacking in energy. Maybe I need to take some vitamins and minerals. I know I should take more Vitamin D to compensate for all the rainy cloudy weather and to counteract my S.A.D. And I just read that potassium, calcium, and magnesium deficiencies (brought about by exercise, thyroid problems, and taking a diuretic for HPB) can cause cramps, which I’ve been getting in the soles of my feet lately.

Usually I do take a multivitamin, but I ran out a while back and they’re so damned expensive.

My favorite multivitamin was by OneSource for Men 50+. They had a whopping 4,000 IUs of vitamin D3 (take that, S.A.D.!). And they were inexpensive, about $5 for 60. But for some inexplicable reason, Walmart discontinued them.

One-A-Day, Centrum, and Nature Made can’t hold a candle to OneSource. So I need to find a substitute.

Any suggestions?

Weigh-In Friday

I went up 0.4 pounds. I blame the lack of energy and the gloomy weather, which makes me eat more. (Did I ever mention how much I love Cheetos?)

If only I had a powerful megavitamin to take. Damn you, Walmart!

Beginning a new hobby

If you read yesterday’s blog post (and if you didn’t, go read it now. We’ll wait. Hmm hmm hmm hmm *hums theme from Jeopardy* Oh, you’re back? Good.) I mentioned I was interested in, or reinterested in, learning how to draw.

Here is my first attempt at a chair:

I did it all freehand (no rulers or straight edges) with a mechanical pencil. It’s basically a visual copy (meaning I didn’t trace it) of an exercise in the drawing book I checked out from the library.

As you can tell, I need a lot of work on understanding three-dimensionality, particularly perspective and shading.

“What about your attempt at an apple?” some reader shouted. Yeah…. No. That really shows how poorly I translate three-dimensinal objects into two-dimensional renderings.

*looks at his readers faces*

Fine. Here. I told you it was atrocious.

Who laughed? I distinctly heard someone say, “What the hell is that on top? A window?”

This I did from memory, as I didn’t have an actual apple to look at. I have always had trouble interpreting circular objects, such as balls, cones, and cylinders, in three dimensions. That’s my attempt to show that side of the apple is shiny (and curved). I think I saw that effect used in cartoons.

Oh, well, back to the drawing board.

Scout Jamboree

As a former Scout Leader, to say I’m appalled by the speech TheRump gave to a group of Scouts is an understatement.

This man-child simply cannot talk without it being about how great he thinks he is or how terribly he thinks he’s being treated by the Free Press and other political opponents.

Every speech he gives is filled with lies, half-truths, hatred and paranoid vitriole; such content might almost be considered appropriate for his normal audience of supporters, which is usually brain-dead, deplorable racists and mysoginists, but these were CHILDREN!

These weren’t potential voters (not for several years) and they certainly weren’t there to attend a partisan political rally. They were there to have fun. Learn various outdoor skills, like camping and woodcraft. To exercise their bodies and minds.

Not to listen to the incoherent, rambling ravings of an orange turd cursing, attacking his rivals, and insulting a former President of the United States.

Now can we start impeachment proceedings?

Obamacare Repeal

The Republicans have been trying to repeal Obamacare since day one. During Obama’s presidency they voted over 50 times to do so. And failed every time.

Last night was their latest attempt. It failed as well.

These failures must really gall these old white men. Deep down in their white-hooded souls they’re seething with racist rage because all their attempts to sponge away the legacy of this uppity black man, to whitewash the shameful memory of a black man ever having occupied their White House, have been twarted.

And to all their failures, the best response is:

Fuck you, GOP.

-30-

My hammy, heat or ice?

I’ve been noticing a tightness in my left hamstring, sort of a persistant twinge. It’s noticable as a weakness when I’m walking and I come to a curb. I’ll leap from my right leg and land on the curb with my left leg, but because the leg is bent at the knee when I strike the cement, there’s this quick pain and a weakness in my hamstring that almost feels like I’ll collapse.

I don’t, but that’s the best way to describe it. I also notice the pain/tightness when I sprint.

I don’t necessarily feel I need to rest my leg, but I do need to find some sort of stretch for it.

My hamstrings have always been tight. When I played softball in my late 30s, pulling a hammy running the bases was a regular occurrence.

Before the game, I’d have to do a proper warmup and stretch, which helped minimize it, but the threat of a pull always remained.

Part of the problem is, I hate stretching. I’m relatively inflexible and stretching hurts. I’ve never been able to touch my toes. I have to use a towel wrapped around my foot to pull myself into a stretch because I can’t reach my foot. Even with the towel for leverage, I’m still several inches away from my toes.

See this meme?

I can’t do either of those. Even the bottom person is closer than I can come. 

So I’m wondering, since I can’t get a significant stretch out of my hammy with the hurdlers stretch or the modified hirdlers stretch, if I need to find other stretches for it.

So I did an Internet search and I found these, which I’ll have to experiment with to see if the help:

Lying hamstring stretch

The lying hamstring stretch looks promising. I already have the towel for the hurdlers stretch, so it’ll be an easy transition to this.

Bench hamstring stretch

The bench hamstring stretch also looks promising. I’ll probably still need a towel to pull muself into the stretch, but otherwise all you need is some stairs or a coffee table.

I’ll research further to see if there are other stretches I can manage with my inflexible body. 

In the meantime, starting tomorrow… OK, fine, right away, I’ll do those two stretches and see if there is any improvement over the next week.

By the way, should you apply ice right after a run, or heat? Is the heat later after you’ve rested?

Run. Stretch. Ouch.

-30-

Friday on my mind

We made it to Friday! Time to party! (Or as I keep thinking a commercial for a local Native American gaming casino says, “Some people like to BUTTAH! all night long.” Yeah, my wife gives me that same look every time I say it, too. “Why would you think she’s saying butter?”) Fine, let’s get to it.

Bad Friday Haiku

Let us hit the streets

The weekend beckons us again

It’s time to buttah!

Coffee, a little bit of Heaven on Earth

My wife and I recently (a month or so ago) found a newly-opened coffee store. But not your ordinary coffee shop that serves beverages, no, this store sells coffee before it’s brewed. It is called, CoffeeIcon. The location used to be the Java Hut –Oh, drink coffee you will– Sorry. And we frequented it infrequently. Then it was gone and the store stood empty for years. 

I forget why we stopped by. Either for the Walgreen’s on the corner and we noticed it in passing (“Stop! Coffee! My precious!”) or we were getting some pizzas from Papa Murphy’s next store. (Funny, but as a kid, I always thought people were saying, “They’re our next store neighbors.”) Anyway, I digress, as usual.

We stopped in and were stunned. Inside there were shelves upon shelves of coffee. Dark roast, medium roast, light roast, flavored coffees, coffees from Africa, South America, everywhere. It was like we’d died and gone to coffee Heaven. 

They have the largest selection of Keurig-style coffee pods I have ever seen. This isn’t your average supermarket selection. This is premium coffees. Coffee that you can sample! Yes, you heard that right. Find a k-cup coffee you’ve never had before? Take it up and they’ll brew it for you. No charge. As in free. 

That’s the best thing ever! Free coffee!

Their selection of brands includes, for example, a nice selection from Twisted Pine, which is a Green Bay Wisconsin roaster that started with their “1265 Breakfast” roast (any guesses what that address is?) and has greatly expanded their offerings. Their “Jamaica Me Crazy” is one of the few flavored coffees I like. Caramel and vanilla flavors blended with a hint of coffee liqueur.

But CoffeeIcon is more than just Keurig cups. They sell beans, as well. In fact, they have a large variety of green beans on the premises and they will roast them to suit your taste and grind it to your preference.

Our most recent visit, I picked up a pound (12 ounces once it’s roasted and ground) of their “Jaquar Espresso” (and I apologize, but I do pronounce it with an X, but I’m working hard to stop), which is an organic blend of several South American varietals. It’s a dark roast, but it’s smooth and delicious. 

The cool thing is, on the bag the barrista wrote the temperature and length of time it was roasted at so the next time I can go in and say, “Could I try it a few degrees cooler this time?”

If you like spicy, get the Marley Coffee “Catch a Fire.” It has natural chili pepper flavor in it. Delish. And yes, that’s Bob Marley’s son, Rohan, who founded it.

They’re online, too, and they ship. Coffee Icon

Running within myself

This morning I experimented running at a pace that allowed me to breathe through my nose the whole time. Usually, I run too fast and I end up gasping through my mouth. I’m not sure if that is beneficial aerobically. But it always leaves me exhausted, almost burned out afterwards. 

Today, I made a concious decision to run slower and I did. Sure, my time was 2-1/2 minutes slower than I had been running for the same distance, but I finished the run still breathing through my nose and actually had enough kick left to sprint to the finish. Usually you can’t tell I’m sprinting because I’m so worn out.

I guess I’ve been pushing myself too hard all this time. I need to slow down in order to build up my aerobic fitness.

Weigh-In Friday

I lost 0.2 pounds. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

I spy a Monarch!

I saw a Monarch butterfly in our yard the other day. I was happy, but at the same time, quite sad.

I was happy because I’ve always liked Monarchs with their bold orange and black wings and because they are so unusual due to their marvelous migratory pattern, traveling thousands of miles from the U.S. and Canada to central Mexican forests.

As a child, that fact alone facinated me; that this delicate creature could survive an exhausting and hazard-filled flight of over 2,800 miles was simply miraculous. I still have a book from my childhood about it, “The Travels of Monarch X” by Ross E. Hutchins.

But I was sad, too, because seeing a Monarch has become a rare occurance. As a child, I remember them swarming everywhere. They were among the most common of butterflies in the summer.

Now, they are endangered. Pesticides, which are decimating our honey bees, are killing the regal Monarchs as well. They are also suffering from a loss of habitat; Man is encroaching on their winter mountain retreats. And let’s not forget climate change (which, if you’re conservative is easy to do). It too is having a negative effect upon the once proud Monarch.

It’s sad to think that one day our children, and our children’s children will not be able to experience the joy and wonder that is the glorious Monarch.

I think I’ll go read that book tonight. Maybe it’ll uplift me.

#climatechangesucks

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