Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fall is Here

My last run was Friday, right after work. It was uneventful, meaning no snakes, bobcats, mystery beasts or skunks. I finished my run, stretched and then jumped into the shower. I don't know what happened in that shower, but while I was in there my right knee suddenly screamed in pain at me and then buckled. I've been limping ever since. I went for a walk yesterday and it did OK, but it's hurt even so. I just don't get this. I didn't hurt it while running. I didn't hurt it while stretching. I don't know where this came from. Maybe I used a bad soap?

I have a neighbor with an old green Ford F150 pickup for sale. I'd really like to buy it. I have a pickup, but it's a Japanese mini-truck and has given me enough problems in recent years that I'd like to get rid of it. When I need a truck I usually need a full-sized truck and have to make do with my mini-truck. But for several things, such as pulling a trailer, the mini-truck just can't do it.

My stupid cat, as opposed to my other cat, got herself locked out of the house last night. All three of us were coming into the house at around 10 pm. It was pitch black outside and both cats came running in a panic when I pulled up. I opened the garage and started going inside. My intelligent, albeit stubborn, cat came right along with me. But the stupid cat just disappeared. nearly 4 hours later, as I was heading to bed, suddenly appeared at the front door, swimming on the long rectangular window along the hinge-side of the front door. I never let her in the front door because I want  both cats to always come in the back. But she's stupid. Even when I open the front storm door for her, she'll try to ram her head through the hinges to get in, as if she just needs to push harder and the door while open in reverse. It's been a long time since the first time she did this and she still hasn't figured out that it doesn't work. As I said, she's dumb. So I left her outside overnight and went to bed. This morning she was SO excited to see me and be let inside that she laid down on my feet and licked my toes. Dumb cat, but cute. Lucky for her because if she wasn't cute she'd probably be dead already.

And now another meme:

Fall/Autumn Meme 

First of all, is autumn your favorite season? Why or why not?
The only thing I like about Fall is football. I can't think of anything else about it that I particularly care for. It's bronchitis season, so I guess there's that, if you're into that sort of thing. Lots of allergies and infections and lung problems and drinking medicinal shots of Jager or Jack Daniels to clear out the nastiness. Sure it's a valid excuse to drink the hard stuff, but it's less fun when you're drinking it because you actually need to.

Is it ‘autumn’ or ‘fall’, to you?
Fall.  Autumn is a girl's name, a girl I know who works as a stripper.

What kind of weather does your area get during this season? 
It gets dark sooner and rains a lot during this time of year. The temperature cools off to a nice, less broiling level. Sometimes its actually really nice outside. This is a good time of year to go outside and play some backyard football because it's not too hot or too cold to be outside. But the rain is an ever-present threat.

Were you born in an autumn month? No, dead winter. I was a snow season baby and have the allergies to prove it.

Do you pay attention to any ‘fall fashions’?
I'm not terribly fashionable, but I definitely switch to long sleeves and a light jacket as the temperatures cool off.

Which leaf color is your favorite? 
Whatever color is still attached to the tree and doesn't require me to rake it. I guess that'd be brown because the oak trees seem to hang onto a lot of their leaves all winter long, and that suits me fine.

Is it still fun to rake the leaves and jump in piles of them? 
Wow, my dad used to make raking the leaves a royal pain. He'd get my brother and me out there at 7 am, while my disco queen sister sat up in her room with the door closed and locked and she'd get up at 2 pm to practice her disco dancing, and he'd have us raking the entire 3/4 acre lot all weekend long. If we jumped in it he'd go bonkers so we never did that. If we asked why our sister wasn't raking, too, he'd make some lame excuse and brush us off. There was nothing, and I mean nothing, fun about it.

When can you really tell that it’s autumn? 
When they announce her name and she comes out and gets on the pole and ... oh, you mean fall? I can tell its fall right now because it's gray outside and raining and I'm watching football.

Do you enjoy carving pumpkins? 
I do enjoy it, but I'm not as talented at it as I'd hoped I'd be. Plus, I have no kids so each year that I grow older it seems increasingly to remind me that I'm childless and I hate the way that feels.

Do you eat the pumpkin seeds? If so, do you put any kind of flavoring on it?
One year, my significant other tried to bake them and make some salted pumpkin seeds for us to eat. I have to say, it was less than spectacular and I hope we don't do it again this year.

Are you planning to go to a pumpkin patch this year? 
We haven't ever gone to a pumpkin patch. We do corn mazes, though, and probably will again this year.

Which was your favorite Halloween costume to wear? 
One  Halloween I wore a very expensive ghoul mask, long black robes and some tall boots that made me look like a giant. I scared the living crap out of a lot of people and thoroughly enjoyed it. That was my favorite, but that mask has long since turned hard and brittle and probably dissolved into dust.

Are you planning to go trick-or-treating? Why or why not?
I have no children, as I said, and people generally frown upon adults showing up at their door in costumes demanding candy. The past few years no one has gone trick-or-treating in my neighborhood at all. Everyone takes their kids to big church gatherings where  they do some kind of trunk-or-treat thing, going car-to-car or something. I guess in this age of sex offender registries and helicopter parents, not to mention rampant paranoia, parents feel safer taking their kids to these events rather than doing like my parents and just turning the kids loose to go door-to-door on their own.

Are there any county fairs or festivals held nearby during this time?
Yes, tons of them. I mean, not county fairs, but festivals with various names and themes, all intended for parents who are afraid their kids will get nabbed if they trick-or-treat the old fashioned way. I wonder if things are truly more dangerous today than in years past of if we are simply encouraged by budget-driven politicians and law enforcement agencies to think things are worse? Or perhaps the paranoia is simply an unintended consequence of the internet and maps showing where every registered sex offender in the world lives?

What is your favorite dessert for this time of year? 
People eat different  desserts at different times of the year? Uh ... giant  hot chocolate, perhaps? Hot brownie with ice cream? One  of those, probably.

Is your Thanksgiving Day in October or November, if you even celebrate it? 
Is there such a thing as an October Thanksgiving? Is this in some other country or something? I only know of the one and it is in November. Why would I not celebrate it?

If you do celebrate it, where do you usually have Thanksgiving dinner? 
We used to celebrate it at my mom and dad's house, but after Dad died Mom seemed to be increasingly stressed by it, so my niece volunteered to host it. Since then it has fallen to her every single year to handle it for the entire family. I sure hope she doesn't get tired of it, because if she stops we don't really have anywhere else to go. And if not for Thanksgiving and Christmas our family might never all get together and see each other. For us, these celebrations are important to keeping the family in contact with one another.

Do you remember any crafts you used to do that were autumn-themed? 
I used to draw my own calendars every month for several years, so I had several that were Fall-themed. As I said, Autumn is a stripper I know, so I never did any stripper-themed crafts.

Are any of your favorite bands doing a fall tour this year? 
I heard that  Foreigner is coming to a city near me this month, but other than that I haven't heard of anything along those lines going on.

Which new TV show are you looking forward to this season?  
I'm glad my favorite old shows are back, especially "Community," but among the new shows I think I've missed several of them. I saw and liked "Trophy Wife." I missed Michael J Fox's debut show, but I heard it was funny. I saw the premiere of "The Crazy Ones" and I haven't decided if I like it yet or not. I like Sarah Michelle Gellar and Robin Williams could potentially be a winner on this show. It's just too early to tell. I haven't watched as many new shows as most people probably have. I hate that they've moved several shows I like, such as "The Neighbors" and "Suburgatory." I'm a big believer in leaving a successful show alone and not moving it to a different night. Too bad the networks don't see it my way. I lose track of more shows this way.

How does autumn typically make you feel? 
The gray skies and rainy days combined with Dallas Cowboys' losing seasons make me depressed.

What color do you always associate with autumn? 
She used to wear a lot of red.

Is there a song that always reminds you of this season? 
You know, I thought about this question for a long time and never could come up with an answer, so I guess the answer is "No."

Do you have any seasonal traditions? 
I thought we dealt with this question already. We have a seasonal tradition of going to my niece's house and celebrating with her and her husband and all their kids. Sometimes her husband's father shows up and wants to argue about college football, but he can't find anyone to argue with because none of us follow it that closely or care enough to fight about it.

Do you spend a lot of time outside during this time of the year? 
Yes, summers here are too hot and humid to enjoy being outside, so when things cool down a little like they do every Fall we go outside a lot more.

How can you tell that fall is over?  
Last year the difference between Fall and Winter wasn't'  very noticeable, but this year the Winter is expected to be very cold, so I imagine we'll know because it is freakin' cold outside.

What is a typical autumn outfit that you wear?
I don't wear any of Autumn's outfits. That'd make me a cross-dresser and I'm not into that.

Describe a perfect autumn day:  
I don't really know what Autumn does all day. I guess she gets up around noon and then goes shopping for stripper shoes? I don't know.

Do you hate it when stores start promoting Christmas early? 
I hate it when stores want to sell me a ton of crap relating to Christmas, but refuse to acknowledge that is IS Christmas they're talking about. If you want to sell me Christmas crap you'd better call it Christmas crap and not "holiday" crap or I'll shop elsewhere.

What is your favorite thing about this season?
I used to enjoy all the football games, but since the Cowboys have been crap the past 10 years or so I haven't really enjoyed it as much. I guess that's why I started watching other teams and a lot more college ball. Beyond that, not having any kids, it's hard to celebrate the Fall much because it gets dark so soon that by the time I get home from work it's dark out. Weekends are all about working on cars or the yard or cleaning the house. Wow, thinking about this is depressing me and it hasn't even happened yet. And as if to drive my point home, it is currently gray and raining outside, and the Cowboys just blew a nice lead and lost to a not-very-impressive San Diego Chargers team in the fourth quarter. What a rotten end to my weekend. Now I get to look forward to a stressful week at work. Yay Fall!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Wet Streets at Sundown

The sun was already going down even as I was putting on my running gear. I was either going to have to run faster or shorten the distance. Or run in the dark with all the wildlife.

I speed-walked as fast as I could down my street trying to force my legs to warm up faster than usual. It had rained earlier today, right before I got home from the looks of things. I couldn't wait for a solid warm-up, so when I got near the bottom of my own street I broke into a healthy jog.

My breathing wasn't under control, by any means. I wasn't ready to run. I was huffing and puffing. But my pace was good compared to my last 2 runs so I kept going. It was getting dark quickly. I had pepper spray in one pocket and a flashlight in the other. If necessary I was prepared to run with one in each hand.

1 mile down the road I was in my own world, just cruising along, feeling OK, if not particularly fast or strong. The storm had dropped a lot of tree branches and crap all along the road. I was stepping over them without really noticing. And then suddenly I noticed one of the branches turning around to look at me. And I was right on top of it at this point.

"Huh, that branch is turning around and looking at me," I thought to myself in a mental fog. My mind was a million miles away at this point. But it was rapidly returning to where I was.

The 'branch' was no more than a foot in front of me and I was running towards it. In a split second I was looking down at a long, brown 'branch' with dark diamonds all along it that apparently had a head and eyes and was now looking at me with mild curiosity. I was of course looking back at it with equal curiosity and perhaps a little alarm.

I suddenly found myself putting a little extra spring in my step as I leaped over it and started moving past it. By this point I had mentally returned to the present and was fully aware that a 3-4 foot long snake was directly beneath me and turning around to face me.

That stick is looking at me!

I had a good pace going and I had fully intended to stick to it, but I suddenly felt the urge to speed up. And that is exactly what I did. Not only that, but I was looking backwards to see what the snake was doing the entire time I was running away from it until I was over a hill and out of sight of the snake. Sorry Coach, I know you told us to never look back because it slows us down, but I figured I had compensated by speeding up with the extra adrenaline that was suddenly pulsing through my veins. And besides, this is the first time I ever encountered a big snake like this directly underneath my feet while running before. If necessary, I'll get a note from my mother, but I think this one is excusable.

I live out in the country. I encounter all kinds of things while running. It's really dangerous for me to run after dark and it was getting darker by the second at this point. I don't know snakes. I know that a snake with diamonds on it and a rattle on its tail is a rattlesnake and a big black snake with a flared back is a cobra, but beyond that I have no clue. I only know what I saw there in a brief instant as the sun was fading and the pavement was steaming from the rain.

The problem with my running route is that it partially repeats, which is to say, I have to turn around and return the way I came, covering the same ground. And that means when I pass something like  this, unless it decides not to be there when I get back, it will be waiting for me.

On my return run you can rest assured I was wide awake and looking intently at every stick and leaf and log along that road. I  looked and looked until, once again, the snake and I were reunited. Apparently the asphalt was warm. He must have liked it there. He was crossing the road, but he was in no hurry at all. He was now on the opposite side of the street, which coincidentally was once again the side of the road I was on. Yay!

So I crossed the street and gave the snake a wide berth. He turned to watch me pass, just like before. I kept my eye on him the entire time, just like before. And my pace was quickened. Wah-la! Instant motivation!

The problem with this snake speeding up my pace was that I was at that point in my course running uphill. And I was really running at about the right pace for my currently physical condition. When I sped up after leaping around the snake the first time I felt a slight twinge in my ever-problematic calf. It wasn't an injury. It was just the old injury reminding me that I had better be more careful if I wanted to finish this run and not end up missing the Warrior Dash in 2 weeks because of my calf. Despite the snake, my calf was continuously on my mind from that moment on. Well, my calf and the snake were on my mind. Let's be fair, I didn't just forget the snake because my calf was on the edge of injury. But if you are an athlete then I'm sure you know what it feels like to have a bodypart that is right on the verge of injury and warning you. It's unnerving.

By the time I reached the long, dark stretch of my route it was pretty dark outside. And there I was looking everywhere for snakes in the road. So I pulled my flashlight out of my pocket and ran with it on until I reached the end of my run, down at the bottom of my own street. Even walking up the street on my own block, with houses on both sides of me, I was totally focused on objects in the road in case any of them turned to look at me.

When I got home I immediately stretched. This past weekend I saw an NFL trainer working on an injured running back. He had something very familiar that he was using on the pulled leg muscle of the football player. It was The Stick, of which I just happen to have one. Having seen that and knowing  that my calf injury is just dying to make a comeback I pulled out my Stick and worked the hell out of my legs from ankle to hip. Then I took the advice of some of you here on The Blog and pulled out my trusty tennis ball. I worked my arches and then got down on the floor and worked the crap out of my calves.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

2nd Run, er, Limping Jog

My legs are unbelievably stiff and sore from my little jog on Tuesday. Was it Tuesday? I can barely keep up with the days this week. Despite my ridiculously stiff muscles I still went out for a short run after work today.

The sun was already going down when I headed out. My legs were creaking along like the Tin Man without his oil can. I walked for a quarter mile before I decided to try to 'force' my legs to loosen up by breaking into a jog. It was the most awkward looking jog anybody ever saw. My legs wouldn't move and I looked like I was dragging them along with me as I motored down the road. After a bit of that I stopped and tried to shake out my muscles. That was just painful. Nothing shook out except pain.

It was pretty obvious at this point that my run tonight was going to be a difficult one more focused on not injuring anything than much else. I had actually been thinking about trying to do a little fartlek workout since I was so short on sunshine, but once the reality of my uber stiff muscles became undeniable I knew that was out. Maybe next time?

The run was unremarkable. I did maybe 2 miles and it was darker when I headed down the final stretch for home than it had been on Tuesday. I wouldn't have had time for a longer run even if I'd wanted it.

As I tried to speed up my strides on the final stretch to my imaginary finish line, passing down the long dark stretch of 2-lane road shaded on both sides by enormous trees, something ran out into the road ahead of me. This was the exact stretch of road where all my neighbors keep seeing the bobcats. Believe me, that was on my mind as I looked ahead and saw the big, furry shape looking at me from the center of the road. I strained my eyes to try to make out what it was. Hmm, if it's a bobcat it isn't a full-grown one. Too big to be a housecat or a skunk. Maybe a coyote? Young bobcat? Big raccoon?

He didn't look at me for long before he turned and ran on across the road and into the woods on the other side from where he came. Someone should paint a crosswalk for wildlife there on the pavement with all the animals we have crossing there.

I kept running, but I suddenly felt more motivated than before to pick up the pace. I was wheezing as I 'sprinted' past where the mystery animal crossed the road, but instead of dropping into a pace and trying to control my breathing I found myself looking behind me and speeding up. A bobcat will circle around and come up behind you if it wants to jump on you. Or at least I think they will. I'm no expert. But in my imagination that's exactly what it was doing. I was pathetic and gimpy, but at this point I was moving the fastest that I had all night long.


I went up over the 'hill' where  I had petered out so pathetically on Tuesday and kept going. I was going to puke at any moment if I continued my bobcat fartleking so, having cleared the dark section of tree-shaded road and reached the populated neighborhood section again, I stopped and walked, wheezing and pouring sweat, still looking behind me. But now I was right on top of  the skunk family I had seen the previous run, so I was looking backwards for bobcats and looking forward again for skunks. I was looking like a sweaty, wheezy, paranoid drug addled lunatic. I'm sure my neighbors were thrilled to see this site coming towards their houses.

As I turned and speed-walked up my own street I passed an elderly neighbor man. He looked at me and the sweat pouring off of my body and said "do a lap for me, OK?"  I told him I'd turn around and go do that very thing in a second. Then I went home and collapsed into the shower. Maybe I'll do his lap on Saturday.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Augh! Skunk!

Coming soon ...

OK, my Wordless Wednesday post is scheduled to go in about 12 hours, but I wanted to post this real quick just because, I guess, this is my fitness blog ... mostly.

I ran tonight. I skipped my race last Saturday. I wasn't feeling my best. Even so I thought I could have done it and would have done OK. I ran tonight. This is my first run since the Cotton Row, whenever the heck that was ... months ago? So I'm accustomed to the first mile feeling like hell. And I didn't walk as long as I usually do to warm up because it is getting dark sooner and I didn't want to go to the gym and run on the treadmill. I ran my neighborhood, complete with wild animals, as the sun was going down. I think I went a mile and a half, maybe 2. It wasn't a long run by anyone's standards. A paraplegic could run farther and probably faster. I had no energy, no speed, and no lung power at all. Blah. I was wheezing like a beginner. I never really fell into a good groove like I usually do. For a moment I thought I was going to, but the sun going down convinced me to turn for home early. As I did I had to jog (I hate that I'm a jogger now instead of a runner) up a small hill. It was no big deal. I mean, for a decent runner this hill wasn't even a pimple in the road. But I was wheezing along like an asthmatic old pensioner. And most pathetic of all, even as I told myself that I wasn't going to stop at the top of the hill and instead go on to the same spot where I started running I stopped and walked. I didn't even get up to the top of the hill. I was like 3 feet from the top when I stopped. That is TRULY pathetic. I love hills. I love conquering hills. I couldn't even keep going long enough to reach the top of this tiny bump in the road.

And then I saw the reason all the animals in my neighborhood have been so nervous and on edge for the past few weeks. As I passed a driveway I saw something  coming out of the pipe that crosses underneath the driveway apron. It was a big old black skunk. And there was something odd about it. It was standing  there facing me, but it's tail was still sticking out of the pipe. No wait, it was two skunks! No wait, it was a family of skunks living in the pipe! Aaaaah, now I get it. My cats can smell these things and know they're around. This is why they don't want to go outside anymore. And this is probably why no one has reported seeing the bobcats in awhile. Ah well, it's a trade-off. The skunk looked at me and hunkered down like he was getting ready for trouble, but I guess he could tell I was wheezing like a soon-to-be-dead moose and decided I was no threat. I kept walking. He ignored me.  And I went  home to take a shower and die.

I have the Warrior  Dash coming up in 3 weeks. 3 weeks!!!! I'm so totally not ready.

Mom, is that you? Maybe we should follow you home just in case.

Monday, September 16, 2013


What would you choose to be famous for? 
I think it might be nice to be famous for being the richest man in the world currently married to supermodel Marisa Miller. That would be my choice. Or Brooklyn Decker. I'm easy. Whichever one is nicer and easier to get along with.

If you have a webcam, are you ever paranoid people can see you? 
I suppose it's possible, but all any hacker is ever going to see from my webcam is a pile of junk gathering dust and a 100-year-old clock that is most likely showing the wrong time because I've apparently adjusted it slightly too fast and it is just rocketing along. My computer is on my desk and my desk is in a room that was once intended to be attic, but got transformed into a bonus room/attic. So now it has things to do, but only if you can get around all the junk in there.

Do you find it difficult to sleep at night? Any reason(s) why? 
When I hit puberty it hit me back. I suddenly had rampant insomnia. My parents responded to my inability to sleep by beating the crap out of me in the mistaken belief that being beat up would help me sleep. The idea of taking me to a doctor never crossed their minds. Of course, the time I dislocated my ankle and they had to drive for an hour to come get me for the specific purpose of taking me to a hospital somehow also never made it cross their mind to take me to a doctor. They took me home and told me to just 'get over it.' Luckily, that insomnia problem seems to have mostly gone away now. Most  nights I can fall asleep within 15 minutes of laying my head upon  the pillow. Insomnia gone.

If you had to go on a game show, which would you choose? 
I don't know much about modern day game shows, I haven't seen one in years, but one  thing I know for sure is that I would never go on any Japanese game shows. They do truly horrible things to their fellow man just for the fun of it and seem to feel no compassion or remorse whatever. It's a little scary seeing this side of them, but it does give you some idea of why our soldiers during WWII hated them so much.

What about if you had to go on a reality show? 
I only know one and that is "Keeping Up With the Kardashians." I suppose if I say I'd go on that show you'd expect me to say it is because I want to have sex with Kim Kardashian. But the fact is I'd really rather be with Kourtney. Of the three, she seems the least irritating. Granted its a TV show so there is really no telling what, if any, similarity there  is between their TV persona and the real person. Still, I'm sticking  with Kourtney. Their show is the only reality TV show i know anything about.

Which would you choose then?  
I'd choose the reality show. You might win $10,000 on a game show, but you can make millions being a Kardashian.

Tell me about your favorite TV show: 
I hate to say this, but it's summer and we're in reruns for the most part so my favorite show, whatever it is, won't be back for another few weeks. Maybe it was Grimm? Or possibly The Big Bang Theory? No, it is Community! How to describe the show "Community"?? A bunch of screw-ups are going to a community college. The dean is a flaming homosexual, and if you watch the show you know I'm not even exaggerating. If anything I'm understating it. He's a riot. One of the male characters is possibly insane, but mostly harmless. His best friend is a nerd, but he's a bigger nerd. 2 of the female characters are extremely good looking, but never seem to have a date because they're so quirky that no one is sure what to do with them. Chevy Chase plays an old Baby Boomer who is going back to college and doesn't seem to realize that he's not young anymore, so he tries to hit on the good-looking girls, but they hate him. A guy named Chang got the job of security guard and used this lowly position to take over the school, kidnap the dean, replace him with a theater student done up to look just like him, and build an empire. There was an episode that consisted entirely of them in a video game, another which was entirely claymation. There is NOTHING they won't do on that show. It's genius and it is the funniest thing on television. Unfortunately their stupid network executives keep running it opposite "The Big Bang Theory" so no one ever sees it and it has nearly been cancelled several times.

Why were you last irritated? 
Because everyone in traffic today seems to be insane and cranky at the same time.

What time did you get up this morning? 
2 am to pee. 4 am to pee. 6 am to pee, shower, eat breakfast, get dressed and drive to work amongst a sea of insane and cranky people.

The last city you were in: Where was it and do you like it there? 
I went  to Nashville, TN, to see an exhibit at the Frist Center featuring a ton of Art Deco era ultra-rare automobiles. It was really, really cool. If you get a chance to go and see it I highly recommend it. But you'd better hurry. It ends soon.

Do you like the countryside? 
Yes, and at the moment I live there, so it's good that I don't hate it or anything.

If you see someone yawn, do you often yawn as well? 
I normally do. Considering how tired I just said I am you'd think I yawned while writing this, but I didn't. I'm actually too tired to yawn.

Recommend me a good movie: 
Oh hell, normally I have some new movie I just saw that was surprisingly good and yet I don't think most people have seen it. I know I have seen something recently, but I can't think of what. I'll say this, then, if you have Netflix rent the movie "Trucker" with Michelle Monaghan. Don't get all excited thinking  it's going to be the next Star Wars or Lord of the Rings. It's a really quiet indie film. But it caught me by surprise. After that, she did a mystery called "Gone Baby Gone" and it was even better. Then she did "Mission Impossible III," because apparently Tom Cruise realized she kept doing good movies and I guess he wanted some of her magical 'good movie' powers to bless his sequel. If Michelle Monaghan doesn't do it for  you, rent "The Kings Speech." The DVD sitting next to me on the couch right this moment is "Water for Elephants." I haven't seen it yet. You tell me, is it good?

Do you think you’d make a good model? 
A model? Not a role model? Well, I used to do photography and would occasionally seek out models, so I believe I'm pretty good at knowing what to look for in a good subject to photograph. I don't think I'd choose myself as a model for my own photography, so I can't see why anyone else would. My niece is a professional photographer. She often recruits me to photograph her and her family because she trusts my abilities behind the camera. But she has never once asked if she could photograph me. I photograph her all the time. She was a model for a few years. She is Emily Blunt's long lost twin. I'm not joking. I posted a photo I took of my niece together with a photo of Emily Blunt in an identical pose on Facebook and challenged anyone to guess which was which. The only person who knew which was which was her brother, and even he wasn't entirely confident of his choice.

Would you ever want to be one? 
Considering that good models make well over $100,000 before they even reach 18 years of age, while lesser models make nothing and pose simply for the hope of being discovered or even just for the heck of it, no, I see no point in my ever wanting to be a model. No one is ever going to pay me to pose for them.

How often do you change your hairstyle? 
Not often. I try to get women to cut my hair who have definite opinions about what works for me and what doesn't, and who seem to know what  they're talking about. But lately I haven't been able to do that. The last girl quit to go home and raise her babies. She was a beautiful, world-traveling surfer, but she got married and had 2 kids, so I understand her decision. Now I'm just searching. It's OK, though, because as I get  older my hair seems to be changing on its own. I don't know how this works exactly, but it looks different every day. It doesn't matter how I comb it or what I do, it does what it wants. I don't think what it does would qualify as a hair "style" per se, but at least it's hair and it's on my head. That's about all I can say about it.

What does it look like now? 
Depends on its mood. I think it is probably as tired as me so it probably looks tired and flat.

Do you have a favorite day of the week? Which is it? 
If I do it would be something tied to the weekend. Friday requires me to go to work, but then I am free after that and have 2 more days to remain free. That is an important thing because the stress comes first and then goes away, whereas Sunday starts off stress free and then grows increasingly stressful as the day reaches its end and you know you have work tomorrow. Saturday often involves me being told that I have "chores" to do and then getting yelled at for not having done enough of them, which is a lot like being at work. Hmm, I'm going to go with Friday. I might as well get paid for being abused.

Are you alone? 
More than I ever wanted to be.

When is the last time you were on the phone after 2 am? 
I think it was over a year ago. Does anyone reading this remember a blogger named JLee? She used to comment on Fingers "Whine Guide" blog. We used to talk on the telephone for hours. I miss that.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Cotton Pickin Tired

Yesterday I wrote about the 5K race I was scheduled to run today. I said I'd update my blog to tell if I'd run or not.

I did not run.

OK, OK, stop it, stop it! I had a hell week. By the time Friday came around I was passing out at my desk. I don't know what exactly is going on, but I am just collapsing. So Saturday when my alarm went off for me to get up and run, I turned it off, briefly grew painfully aware of how incredibly tired I still was after a full night of sleep, and passed right back out again. I got up later and went downtown to see how things came out.

Here's a photo of all the people wandering around after the race looking at craft tables and a big car show:

Click on the photo and make it larger. Do you see the 2 girls in the lime green t-shirts with 5K written on it? Those are the shirts people got when they registered for the race. I'm supposed to have one, but I never got my race packet, so I don't know where it is. Looking at those 2 girls I can't help but think "I could have beat them, even as tired as I am." Yeah, especially if they ran with the child on their shoulders and the shopping bags. Every little bit helps. 

When I first arrived downtown half the people there were wearing their race shirts. But the runners cleared out pretty quickly and went home  to recover. I wanted to see the cars. Even if I had run, I would have stuck around to see all the cars. I just would have been scary looking and deathly tired as I did it.

OK, I don't have a good excuse for not running. I didn't train at all. I was afraid of an injury. I was worn to a frazzle from working all the time. I haven't found a way to get to the gym with this job, but somehow I'm going to have to. Either that or I'm going to have to change jobs again. No one is paying me well enough to sacrifice my health just for  the 'privilege' of working for them. Once you lose your health its a monster trying to get it back.

So, it wasn't a bad day. I spent hours and hours looking at everything downtown. It wasn't too hot, either. It would have been a good day for me to run. I should have run. I didn't. What more can I tell you?

2 more wearing their race shirts

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday the 13th - Pre Race Day

Well, it's the day before my next race, the Cotton Pickin 5K. How much have I trained for this race you ask? I'm so glad you asked me that.

I have not trained one single bit. I have been so totally overwhelmed at work that I don't have any hope of training during lunch. By the time I get home  from work it's after 7, sometimes after 8 or 9, and dark outside. There are no streetlights around here, or not very many, and it's dangerous to run at night here for that reason, as well as because of the wild animals.

I joined a gym about 5 miles or so from my house. It's the closest gym I could find. But I haven't been even once. I've worked and worked some more, but not found any time for working out.

Tomorrow's race starts at 8:30 in the morning. I'm no morning person. All week long I have steadily grown dramatically more tired. I have fallen asleep at work while typing. Today I fell asleep while drinking coffee. I'm not even kidding. That's how tired I am.

Odds of my making it to this race are not good. Odds of my making it to this race, picking up my race packet, pinning on my number and running the race from beginning to end are even worse. But that doesn't mean it won't happen.

If by some miracle I wake up tomorrow morning feeling peppy and ready to run, there is the added, er, problem of the car show that is going on after the race. I go to this car show every year. I spend hours there. I get sun burned walking around looking at all the cars and taking photos. If I make it to the race and actually run then I know that I will be limping around the car show for hours, smelling like a really nasty pair of old men's underpants and looking like death. But I will still go to the car show, take photos, and get sunburned.

Come Sunday I will be a disaster. But there is work to do around the house, including mowing. And my car needs the front rotors replaced. This falls to me. I have the rotors. What I don't have is the desire to do them just now. The sidewalk and driveway needs edging. And the last time I started my motorcycle it rain very badly and then stalled, which means I need to get serious about cleaning out that carburetor.

If you're at all interested, I'll try to update this blog this weekend and say whether or not I did or did not run. Otherwise, what's the point of writing this post, right?

Of course.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

New Gym

OK, I've joined a new gym. I haven't gone to it yet, at least as far as a workout is concerned. I did spend a half hour there discussing computers with the owner while I signed my new membership. It's a pretty bare bones gym, but it has treadmills to run on, ellipticals for when my knees or calves are torn up, and free weights for all the workouts I haven't done in a long, long time and now need to start catching up on. Lately my triceps have been giving me a hard time - I think they call it atrophy and it hurts - because they want me to go and do some heavy bench presses, dips and nose busters. Funny how my biceps never do this. Then again, my biceps have never been nearly as strong or well developed as my triceps.

Penny just kicked Sheldon out of  her car. Sorry, watching TV while I type.

I've been reading the book "The Wizard of Oz" just for the heck of it. It's a bit different than the movie. For one thing, Dorothy is a lot younger than in the movie. For another, there is a lot of story left after the Wizard accidentally floats away in his balloon, leaving Dorothy stuck in Oz.

I have a race in a week and a half and I've done exactly no training whatsoever for it. The odds of my ending up injured are pretty high. The odds of my not even getting out of bed and going to the start are even higher. Time just got away from  me and this  is a race I've never run before. Setting a personal best for a race is easy if you've never run it before. Whatever time I do it in, that'll be my personal best for that race. Don't want to set the bar too high right off the bat, see?

My car is filled with dead grass. Apparently when I mow the grass ends up all over the driveway right next to my driver's door. Every morning when I crawl out to the car to get in and drive to work grass must be sticking to my feet and climbing into the car with me, where it jumps off and hides in the floor while I go on inside  to work. I can't blame the grass for not wanting to come all the way into work with me, but it would sure make my life easier.

They're trying to force Sheldon to get his own driver's license.

Anyway, I'm going to stop here.