Winter Vacation

Alas, I am almost at the end of my January vacation. If you haven’t noticed, I have used a little of this time to switch the blog back to a self-hosted format. That means the URL will now exclusively be If you have been accessing the blog through WordPress at, that will now redirect to this address. I am still using WordPress, and will still be connected to the WordPress Universe via their Jetpack addon. I’ve changed the aesthetics around here a little also. Hope you like it.

I always take the last week of January off because Denice’s birthday is on the 31st. We have a had a really good week together. We went out to a little place called ‘The Island‘ on her birthday to celebrate. The Island is a neat little place next to the Great Smokey Mountains national park. There are several nice restaurants there. We ate at the Timberwood Grill. Before dinner, we took a quick ride on the Great Smokey Mountain Wheel; a two hundred foot ferris wheel.

I have kind of fallen off the wagon as far as my health and fitness this week. I’ve done almost no running and have been eating terribly. I tend to do this when my daily routine gets disrupted.  I’m not going to dwell on what is done, just try and learn from it, and hopefully do better next time.

I have discovered a new person out there on the Interwebs, her name is Katy Bowman. She is a “biomechanist,” and author of several books in the realm of movement and health. I like a lot of her ideas, the ones I’ve seen so far anyway. Check out her stuff here:

That’s all I’ve got for now friends.

The road that remains

I reached forty years of age this past weekend. I’m now in the half-time intermission of my life. The plays have been pretty conservative up until now, and the score shows it. I think it’s time for a new game plan.

Denice and I just got back from a really great time, on vacation in Colorado, her home state. We spent most of the week camping in the Rocky Mountains. I witnessed in these past few days some of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. It helped me realize just how little I have seen of this world.

We traveled across the vast openness of the Colorado plains, over windy mountain passes that were clothed with green Pines and whispering Aspen trees, on into the high desert mesas. Wild. That’s what Colorado is. It is a wild place. I feel a pull inside me to explore wild places. This trip has left me hungry for more of the wild.

At night it was so dark that I could scarcely see my hand in front of my face, but the sky above was a dazzling ocean of stars. For the first time that I remember I was able to clearly see the Great Rift of the Milky Way.

In the down time of our trip, I had been reading the book, Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall. The book is awesome, by the way. It is mostly about ultra-running. I felt inspired one morning and decided to go for an early morning run. I awoke just as the sun was coming up. I put on my Vibram Five Fingers and set off into the wild. I have been doing barefoot walking for a while, with a little bit of running here and there. This particular morning I ran about a quarter of a mile to the lake, and then a half-mile up into the rocky hills. On the initial ascent, I spooked a deer that was feeding on the grass around camp. I made it almost to the top of the ridge and was pretty tired, so I decided to head back to camp.


The day after my run, my calves were very sore, and my feet were a little bruised from the rocks. It felt good though. It felt good glide across this unforgiving terrain with nothing but the equipment I was born with (and the aid of a thin strip of rubber). It also felt good to feel the pain afterward. I know that I can handle this stuff now, and I think it’s time to stop holding myself back, afraid of breaking something. I’m going to start running a little every day and hitting the trails on the weekends. I think my weight issue will take care of itself if I just pursue the joy of moving under my own power.

So, my new game plan for the second half: Number one… stop playing it so damn safe. Life is a short and fast adventure, not a game of chess. If you play it too safe, you will miss the whole point. Number two… I can do way more than I think I can, so I’m going to test myself in the wild, and not hold back. And, number three… People are what this is all about. I am going to stop neglecting the relationships of my family and friends and make it a point to seek out and forge new friendships.

Till next time.

Back in the Saddle

Hello, friends! I know, I know… it’s been a while. Sorry for the hiatus. I hope all has been going well for you monkeys. I hate that I go through these cycles of interest and disinterest in writing. It is a regularly occurring pattern, and I can’t promise it won’t happen again in the future. For now, though, I think I’m ready to get down to some blogging.

Let’s begin with a few updates. I haven’t had much progress in the weight loss department. for the past couple of months, I have been stalled in the upper two-fifties. Last week was a pretty good week. I was solid with the intermittent fasting, and not so bad with the food choices either. I was keeping my caloric intake down to under a thousand calories a day, and it paid off. I am down nine pounds from last Saturday. I’m confident that I will do well next week also, and I expect to be in the two-forties by next Saturday. However, Denice and I are going to be on vacation the following week. Historically, being on vacation is a deathblow to my eating plan. When I’m at work all day I don’t even think about food, and there is no social pressure to eat at certain times. That all goes out the window when I’m on vacation. My plan is to get as much progress as I can before the vacation, and then do the best I can to minimize the damage during it. It is a vacation, so I am going to have fun, and that will involve social eating with family and friends. I think if I put my mind to it I can keep the food choices a little on the healthier side, and possibly reduce the eating frequency here and there. We’ll see.

For our upcoming vacation, we are going camping in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Denice’s mom, dad, and some other family members are renting RV’s, and taking them up to Gunnison for a few days. Camping and outdoor stuff is my thing, so I think we are going to have a great time. I’ll post some photos when we get back.

One new thing that I have taken an interest in is barefoot walking and running. I discovered a person out there in the Internet Realm by the name of Christopher McDougall, who is the author of a book called, Born to Run. The book proposes that running long distances, without the aid of cushioned running shoes, is one of our species greatest’s, but mostly forgotten powers. The general idea is that most injuries people experience while running is the result of running in shoes or at least shoes that drastically change and inhibit the way our feet and legs are evolved to work. There’s a lot of information to explain so I would recommend watching his TED Talk on Youtube if you are interested. I have started experimenting with this idea. For the past few weeks, I have been walking the dogs around the neighborhood with no shoes and doing some very lite treadmill running with no shoes. My feet have definitely changed. The soles are a little tougher, and my feet feel a little stronger overall. Not counting the one time that I stepped in dog poo, it’s been a very rewarding experience.

20170710_170154I have also purchased a pair of Vibram Fivefingers, which are shoes that are designed to give the closest approximation to going barefoot while wearing shoes. I’ll probably write up a review of these once I’ve more time to play around with them. They are way too clean. I’m going to have to fix that.

Denice and I are also at the beginning of a very big, life changing big, new chapter in our lives. I really want to share it with you all, but the timing is not right. I did want to mention it only because I am very excited about it. Let’s just say it is something that we have waited a long time for, and now it looks like we are finally ready to move forward on.

That’s all for now. More to come.

Counting down to Vacation!

The past couple of days I have been relaying angry messages back and forth between my sister and one of her friends (to whom she is not speaking). My sister and her husband had rented a house out to them while they were living in a different state. To make a long story longer, the rent was not being paid in full and the house was being trashed. When they moved back they were forced to evict them, and the drama has not stopped since.

Denice and I have a strict No Drama policy. We simply don’t do it. We don’t have it with each other and we don’t allow ourselves to get sucked into it with others.

Work was busy today. I am going in early tomorrow and Friday. I’m trying to get all the loose ends tied up before I go on vacation. Ah, vacation… such sweet feelings that word summons. I can’t wait for this one. I can’t say a lot because my plans are connected to Denice’s birthday surprise, but we are going to have a good time.

I’m still working on the long post about Facebook etiquette. As busy as things are at work I may have to delay finishing it to this weekend.

That’s all I have for now, friends. Till next time.


Vacation on the Eve of Destruction

Tomorrow is going to be a great day. No, no… not because the United States will elect a new president. Given the options, that’s going to make for  a horrible day. No, it will be a great day because I only have to work for half the day, and then I am off for the rest of the week!

Of course we will most certainly be watching the election tomorrow night. It’s kind of hard to not watch a train wreck as it’s happening. I’m probably going to spend the time reflecting on how I should interact with the political world in the future. I think I am going to stay with the Green Party. They have a really good platform, and don’t seem to be sold out like the big two. I am also going to make a better effort to understand local politics. I was embarrassed to admit how little I know about the structure and players of my local political scene. It’s not an easy thing for me. While I do have a strong interest in how we arrive at decisions as a people, I have very little interest in the popularity contest that is modern politics.

In other news, I am almost finished with Walden Two. It has been a fascinating book. I look forward to writing a review of it. Walden Two is the book that the Twin Oaks community in Virginia was originally based on.

That’s all I have for tonight. I’ll talk to you all tomorrow as we get the Apocalypse underway. Good night.


Tiny Houses and the yearning for community

Hi friends.

I have been on vacation this week. Surprise, I’m actually posting on this blog now that I have tons of free time. I’ve noticed that about on day two or three of a vacation, I start to pick up all the things that a busy work life has forced to the back burners. One day I will learn the skill of consistency.

Today I have spent a good deal of time watch videos on Youtube about tiny houses; building them, living in them, and all the fun minimalist concepts that go along. Denice and I have both taken up an interest in minimalist living, and that’s huge. There aren’t many things that we have a common interest in, so when we find something that we are both into, it’s only a matter of time before we dive in.

Our current house is already (relatively) small, at seven hundred square feet. So the thought of downsizing is pretty scary. It’s one of those things that you know will take sacrifice and dedication, but you also know will add more to your life that it requires.

I really like the idea of using a tiny house/minimalist living to help get us out of debt. I also like the idea of being “off the grid” and more sustainable and self-reliant. But, what I really love is the idea of being able to share this with like-minded others – to build a community.

Community, over the years, has become largely lost to the consumer capitalist culture. We don’t need each other like we used to. Before, neighbors would share things to keep from having to buy every little thing that you need to live. If I had a drill or a lawn mower, the whole community had it. Before, you wouldn’t pay for child care because there were plenty of others with children in your circle who would be more than happy to share the responsibility. We used to take care of each other, but now we just pay. We pay strangers and corporations to do everything for us. We don’t have to know them, we don’t have to like them, and we certainly don’t have to be vulnerable and true with them. This arrangement sucks. It’s too impersonal.

What I yearn for is true community. Deep down inside me there is a part that wants and needs community. I think what I would like to do some day is build a tiny house community – a true village. One where resources could be pooled and raw freedom could be wrenched from the cold hands of the corporate beast that most of us are prisoners of.

So, where to start? Well, the logical place to start would be with our own dwelling. This would be a big challenge for us, seeing that the only thing that we have every built together is a dog house, and we really botched it. However, Denice and I are fairly intelligent and resourceful people, and I believe in our ability to figure things out and get them done.