Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Holiday Spirit

While I enjoy the feel goodness that the holidays brings out in people - giving gifts to needy children or paying off families balances on lay away - I hate the fact that it illuminates our feeling of need for things. People do not need gifts on christmas. People do not need things in general. If our society was less driven by this desire for objects, if there was less pressure to provide items to show appreciation for our loved ones, if holidays were less commercialized, than people who can't afford necessities wouldn't be stretching themselves beyond their means just to meet these societal expectations. 

The truth is that people are no less in need during the holidays than any other time of the year. This drive we feel to make sure that everyone is minimally (however you define that word) provided for should stretch the entire length of the year - not just a few months time. 

So if the holidays drive you to want to help provide for someone else - great - but take a look at why you are doing it and ask yourself why you don't feel the need to more often. If you happily go and buy gifts - objects people probably don't need - for those in need why do people get so up in arms about providing housing assistance, food assistance, and health care to these same people?

This isn't meant to be political, I just genuinely don't understand. If you'll spend $100 for toys for a family at christmas time, why are we not willing to give that same family $100 for food in July.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Gobble Gobble

I just pulled a 20 lb turkey out of the oven.

Yup.. at 1 am..

That's just sort of how it works around here.

mmmmmmhmmmm good.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Today We Give Thanks

Every year people gather with their friends, families, or themselves and reflect on what they are thankful for. Often times this comes down to being thankful for the people in their lives and the good fortune that has found itself to them.

Laying in bed this morning reflecting on what I was thankful for I found that I could sum it all up in a single word.


I am thankful for time. Time to screw up and make things right, time to experience and learn new things, time to work through hard days and time to have better ones. I am thankful for time to enjoy the sunrises and sunsets - and yes time to better get to know my family and friends. I am thankful for the time to evolve myself into a better person, to exercise random acts of kindness and to read more books. I am thankful for the time to be thankful, and thankful that I realize that at any moment there may be no more time for me or anyone else. I am thankful for the time I have had in the past and the people who shared that time with me even if they are no longer a part of my life.

I am thankful for my time, for your time, and for the opportunity to have the next hour, two hours, day, week, month, year or decade(s). Whatever amount of time it is, I am thankful for it.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Into The Wild

A few weeks ago I watched the movie Into the Wild. Frankly it left me feeling annoyed. I didn't find Chris McCandless to be a very likable. He struck me as arrogant, out of touch, wanting to escape from responsibility, and wanting to punish his parents. Aware that movies very rarely live up to the true story the way a book does, I decided that it was a must read for me.

I guess we could look at McCandless as presented in the book as a young man on a soul searching mission but to be honest, I'm not sure I feel any differently about him now that I've finished it than I did from just watching the movie. The book does allow me to be slightly more sympathetic towards him than the movie did, but I still find myself unable to get past his overall egotism. His disregard for the care that everyone he encountered showed for him including abandoning his sister whom he was supposedly very close to, to a situation that he himself couldn't tolerate. His lack of ability to talk out things that he had a problem with and instead brood on them leaves me with the overall impression of immaturity.

His view that somehow the mistakes that his parents had made in the past and failed to tell him about led to his 'entire childhood being a lie' is narcissistic.

While I get his wanderlust - I have been known for my fair share of it - and appreciate his dedication to not being made a slave to societies wants it only makes for a good story and way of life if you can manage it alive - otherwise it's a pretty poor example of societies evils and only screams for it's necessary elements.

I understand that suffocating feeling that idling brings. Hell, I still suffer from it daily - but Chris McCandless was not someone to idealize for his convictions.

Having information available to you and choosing to ignore it doesn't make you heroic - it makes you ignorant.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


I'm still around! I've just been pre-occupied.
I'll post something soon, promise!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Took another run in the rain after work today. I love that feeling. That's probably a good thing since it's going to rain for the next 10ish months here. I could feel one of my ankles tensing up while I was running, and expected that I would be feeling some tendon soreness afterwards but so far so good in that department. I haven't gotten out to take pictures of that trail yet, being the slacker that I am.

It was raining fairly heavily for Seattle rain today, but I still enjoyed every moment of it.

I think the parts of running in the rain I enjoy most are that you stay pretty cool, there is never anyone else out, and you get to splash in puddles along the way.

We've actually done quite a bit that I haven't written about none of it too exciting though.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Random Musings - Need Some Holiday Cheer?

I went for a run yesterday. I ran 2.5 miles or somewhere around there, I don't really know. I'm pretty sure I can run infinitely as long as I don't worry about how fast I go. If I take the next day off I shouldn't have to worry about my tendons. We'll see how that works out for me.

There's this little nature trail by my house that I've walked part of before but I have never explored all the offshoots. I don't have any idea how long it is but it's like a little piece of trail running tucked away just for me. I will try to get out and take some pictures tomorrow. It's a nice little trail, I'm not sure why I hadn't ran it previously.

It's staying dark later and getting dark earlier these days. I'm fine with running in the dark, but not so much running in the dark while pushing a jogging stroller. So my options are really I can either get up early and run before work (yea, I'm going to be honest.. that's probably never going to happen) or I can run right after work - bleh.

I'm going to work on it though. I've been trying to limit/cut my processed carbs I eat at work because they seem to drain the life out of me.

Something else I've been thinking about, and I will probably re-vist this in the weeks to come. . .

I'm not really a fan of the holiday season. I always viewed them as being for families, and I didn't have one. I used to always volunteer to work every holiday - I'd offer to work a double that day. I didn't have anything else to do, and other people should be able to be with their families because they are lucky to have them. Holidays always just depressed me and made me feel extremely isolated and lonely.

Even now, they sort of just remind me of all that I am or was lacking. Reflecting on things familial are just sort of saddening to me.

There's no reason for anyone to feel that way.

So my friends, this is my offer to you.

If you'd like to receive a holiday card from me, just let me know. I know it's not much - but everyone deserves to know that someone, somewhere took 5 minutes out of their day to think of them - even if it's from the most unlikely of places.
I'll even take a step farther - If you know someone else that could use a little extra holiday cheer this season, I'll send them one too.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wednesday July 16, 1975 - Thursday October 20, 2011

I hope you died deep in your memories of the wonderful life you lived, the many lives you touched, the people you changed and those you shared your very happiest moments with. In times free of cancer, free of suffering, and filled with your infectious happiness. People will speak highly, affectionately, and lovingly of you in death not because of the sainthood death brings, but because of the life you led. Cheers to you my friend for making me a better me by knowing you.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

We The People

People should not be afraid of their government. 
Governments should be afraid of their people.

I will start with saying that I'm not very political - at all. I have no allegiance to one side or the other, and typically dislike the extremists on either side equally. I have friends that are as liberal as they come, and friends that are as conservative as you could wildly imagine. 

This isn't about left or right.
Republican or Democratic. 
Those are distractors. 

We need to step outside our left and right paradigm.

Culture war identity politics keep us distracted.
We don't talk about what's wrong with the power balance in this country as long as we can continue to argue about abortion, who should be allowed to get married or start wars on teachers.

We mix mortality with politics.
Religion with economy.
And in the process overlook the big picture for pet causes that pull at the heart strings.

We cling to myths about both sides.
The right thinks the left are lazy want-everything-for-nothing or over-educated elites.
The left thinks the right are rich don't-care-about-anyone-but-themselves.

The protests happening around the world is not about what they are for

The relationship between corporations and politicians has perverted democracy. 
We all know it. It's no secret. 

The voices of 
We The People
Have been drowned out by 
We the corporations

With their megaphones to the ear of our politicians 
keeping them strictly in their pockets
buying them off.

Our politicians have been bought with huge corporate campaign donations
which are essentially sponsorships. 
Signed into contracts protecting the best interests of mega corporations.

Corporations are not people.
They do not have the interest of we the people in mind.
Corporations work for their shareholders.
They are legally bound to maximizing profits for them.

"We have to grasp, as Marx and Adam Smith did, that corporations are not concerned with the common good. They exploit, pollute, impoverish, repress, kill and lie to make money. They throw poor families out of homes, let the uninsured die, wage useless wars to make profits, poison and pollute the ecosystem, slash social assistance programs, gut public education, trash the global economy, plunder the U.S. Treasury and crush all popular movements that seek justice for working men and women. They worship money and power."

We need
Get the corporations 
Out of 


We the people of the 
United States Of America


Out of

As long as our politicians are corrupted with money
and our media is orchestrated to pit us
right against left
left against right
only showing what they
think we want to see
or what
they want us to see

Our government should be accountable to it's people
not to it's businesses 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Thai, Occupy, Frank

I feel like running. 

but it's quarter to twelve, and I have to work tomorrow. 
I'm afraid if I run now I won't sleep at all tonight. 

I'm one of those weird people that the more energy I burn, the longer I stay awake. 
Figure that one out. 

Tonight we went out to my favorite Thai restaurant (we can only go there when we have a babysitter because it's not really kid friendly), got some coffee and took a stroll downtown to look at the Occupy Seattle crowd. I really need to invest in a nice point and shoot camera for the times I don't feel like, or am not comfortable, lugging my DSLR around. Just something about carrying an $800 camera around after dark makes me uneasy.

Over dinner we talked about things we'd like to do, and decided that over the summer if we can get the little man in a summer camp program that we'll take up bouldering at the local bouldering gym (hear that Jim?) Pretty excited to get a chance to give that a try - just hard to do with the tight schedule we have.

There had been a march yesterday which saw the movement spread into the thousands. They marched form the park they have been occupying to the famous pike place market, sitting down in one of the roads closing it for around 10 minutes. There's been some arrests - but all of it has been respectful and peaceful - protestors even thanking the police for doing their job respectfully.  The park is supposed to close at 10 pm - but they have only been arresting people who refuse to take down tents/shelters.

Where they are gathered, or 'occupying' is in an open area smack dab in the shopping district of downtown - across from the mall. Today there was tons of tents (I think I read about the night of 500 tents to take place yesterday evening...) When we went by it was still fairly early in the night but there was at least one news stations, a big police van/bus and at least 5 cop cars. Interested to see what happened with all of that tonight - so far nothing on the news websites about anyone else getting arrested.

Afterwards we headed back up to Neumos to see Frank Turner. As a side note, Neumos is a great venue, but to tell you the truth Seattle has tons of awesome, small venues. There was a few bands playing before him, we managed to miss the first one and the second one, while not bad, seemed to go on forever. We were only able to stay for about half of Franks show, but it was good and fun none-the-less.

Not bad for a GO phone cell pic eh?

During the opening act (that we caught) there was a bunch of kids (guessing high school) moshing. Which is funny - because this is sort of folk punk music. The band stopped to tell them during the set - it wasn't Pantera or anything, chill out.

When Frank came on the guitarist that was playing as part of the band looked drunk or drugged out of his mind, or maybe he was just suffering from heat stroke and dehydration from the amount of sweat pouring off him. All I could think was damn, these guys must be really well hydrated.. and the fact that the people way up front must be getting spit on.

But! it was a good time, glad we went, and need to figure out a way to do it more often.

By the way, if you don't use Pandora, you should.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different...

He had a court hearing this morning and no charges were filed at this time.

Seattle has a "Superhero" who goes by "Phoenix Jones"

He roams the streets of Seattle in full anonymous gear looking for crimes in action. When he sees one he alerts police (he has an automatic dialer built into his superhero suit - no lie).

He states "I symbolize that the average person doesn't have to walk around and see bad things and do nothing"

Phoenix Jones was arrested over the weekend for assault.

The whole thing was caught on tape by one of his companions.

Not sure if the other parties involved in this whole thing realized that it was being taped, or were too drunk to care.

The accusing party states that they left the club and were dancing when Mr. Jones approached them and sprayed them with pepper spray. One of the female 'victims' then started chasing Mr. Jones and his companions around and hitting them with her stiletto heels..

Mr. Jones said there was a fight and he went to break it up - alerting police as he was running towards the scene. After breaking up the initial fight, Mr. Jones is chased by previous mentioned woman with her shoe. We also see another female hit another member of Mr. Jones companions. Then things get really crazy...

If you watch the video, you can hear it said they are still fighting after they move away from the initial scene. At one point you see a car appearing to try to swerve into someone to hit them, barely missing. The police still haven't arrived. Mr. Jones keeps his eye on the other parties - at one point they get into an SUV and chase Mr. Jones and his companions into the ferry terminal. They then throw things at them while they seek cover.

I can't even make this stuff up....

The cops finally arrive
over 10 minutes later

that's worth repeating

over 10 minutes later the police respond
in the middle of downtown Seattle

The shoe woman tells the police the story about how they were dancing and Mr. Jones came and pepper sprayed them for no reason. Mr Jones offers the officer to watch the video of the entire incident. Officer refuses and arrests Mr. Jones on assault charges because that is what the shoe wielding woman wants to do. Of course this reveals his true identity, giving up his anonymous cloak he was able to work under previously.

Police didn't even know who he was prior.

They have continuously told him not to get involved. To call 911 should anyone see an infraction of the law being committed.

which again brings up back to
10 minutes in downtown Seattle

If you were being assaulted, do you think you'd have 10 minutes to wait around for the police to show up?

How would you feel if you saw someone standing across the street doing nothing to help you while you're being assaulted while waiting for police to arrive, which you know may or may not happen while you're still breathing?

This is basically what the police are telling you to do.

The way I view Mr. Jones and his posse, is a bit like a community watch group on steroids.

Here's the video
Blow it up to full screen and pay close attention.

  1. He is not coming up on them quietly, and he is alerting the police as he goes to the scene. There is no way they did not hear him coming. 
  2. If you watch closely you can see that there are 2-3 males fighting on the righthand side of the crowd.
  3. Mr. Jones runs into the crowd. You're unable to really see what is happening here, but lets go ahead and assume that he used pepper spray to break up the fight when his yelling and screaming didn't do the trick. 
  4. The woman then assaults a man with Mr. Jones and then turns on Mr. Jones and continues to chase and assault him. 
  5. They leave and are watched by Mr. Jones and companions. 
  6. You then see the car nearly miss hitting someone. 
  7. More watching and waiting on police. 

You get the idea..

But this story gets better. The woman went on a radio show and said, there was indeed a fight which means she lied to police.

Radio interview here

warning - she sounds really smart.. it's a bit painful to listen to. You can really just skip to the end where she says yea there was a fight but it was with some other people that were standing right next to us and her sequence of events just don't match up with the video, but oh well...

More audio at

Now I don't know about you, but if I was feeling threatened I'd probably be trying to run away from what was threatening me, not towards it. Maybe I'm just weird....

We also learn with the exposure of his identity that Mr. Jones is a mixed martial arts fighter AKA if he wanted to he could really mess you up so you're probably lucky that he decided pepper spray was an effective method.

He has a court hearing set for thursday..

It will have to be seen if Seattle has seen the last days of its super hero. With his identity revealed, it's even riskier business for him to continue than it was previously because it puts his family (wife and two children) at risk.

Oh Seattle, you're so strange. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Falling Into Fall

I love fall. 
It's by far my favorite season. Probably part of the reason I love living in Seattle.

I love carving pumpkins. 
I love some nice hot apple cider.

I break out my tea in fall. 
I enjoy the crispness of the air. 

Nice to see you fall.. hope you stay a while. 

ps. I did another night time run this weekend. No rain this time. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Chicken Noodle Soup

I decided to make some chicken noodle soup.

I had some chicken broth that I made previously in the freezer and had left over celery, carrots and chicken from an event at work.

I highly highly recommend making your own chicken broth. It tastes so much better than the soy-protein-and-whatever-the-hell-else-is-in-that-stuff you can buy at the store. Not only that, but it's better for you too.

"Science validates what our grandmothers knew. Rich homemade chicken broths help cure colds. Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily - not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur, and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons - stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain"

If you'd like to read the rest, it can be found at this site - Broth Is Beautiful.

It's easy to make - and can be made as a byproduct of a different meal - and it tastes better.

Here's one for you 

Step 1 -
Take whole chicken you bought from the store take the giblets out of the center, put all of it in a crock pot (including the giblets).

Step 2 - Sprinkle whatever seasonings you'd like on top (salt, pepper, garlic, coriander, paprika .. whatever.) If you feel like it, you can add onions, celery, carrots and such. 

Step 3 - Place lid on crock pot and set to low. (don't have a crock pot? I got mine at goodwill for around $5)
**Note** that I did not add any water. No need to. 

Step 4 - Go live your life. I usually get this set up before bed and just let it cook until dinner the next day. 5 or more hours should be enough though. 

Step 5- Take out chicken, which is probably falling off the bones and separate the meat from the bones (it's on to not get every last bit of meat, it will still go to use) 

We usually get enough meat off the chicken for at least two meals. This of course will depend on the size of your chicken, appetite, how many people you're feeding and what else you make with it.

Now you can take some of the liquid sitting in your crock pot and make a quick gravy with it if you'd like. Otherwise move to step 6.

Step 6- Put all your bones back in the crock pot. 

Step 7 - Add 4 or 5 cups of water, or you know, however much you feel like. 

Step 8 - You'll probably want to add a little more salt, maybe some dried herbs. If you haven't added celery and carrots and onions, do it now, or don't. It's your stock, put whatever you feel like in it. They will add extra nutrients and flavors to your broth.

Step 9 - Let it cook for another day.

Step 10 - Strain into a bowl

Step 11- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in fridge. 

The fat will congeal to the top and you'll be able to easily remove it once cold.

Step 12- Remove fat congealed at the top

Now you have options. You can either use it now, or save for later. 
To save for later pour into ziplock freezer bags and lay flat in your freezer. Once it's frozen you can stand them up to take less space **once you make chicken noodle soup you can store it the same way** 

Now to make soup. 

What you'll need

Chicken broth (check)

Chicken (this could be left over chicken from when you cooked the whole chicken, or you can just buy some chicken breasts and cook them. I usually buy frozen chicken breasts and cook them directly from the frozen state. 350 degrees for usually around 30-40 minutes, or until the reach a temperature of 165 degrees.) 

Egg noodles
Butter or Oil or both
Italian Seasoning

You'll notice I didn't put quantities because frankly it doesn't matter. It's your soup, make it how you like it.

Step 1 - Cut up your Celery, carrots, onion, garlic.

Step 2 - Put your chicken stock in a pot to start heating it up. Throw some italian seasoning in there for good measure. Not too much. 

 I didn't have enough chicken stock for my soup today so I did add a little better than bouillon - organic (I use this kind because it doesn't have any vegetable protein in it.) If you need to, go for it! It won't take away any of the positive aspects of the homemade chicken stock you added.

Step 3- Put a little bit of oil or butter ( I use both, butter first) and add your garlic. Cook this for a little bit and then add your onions (I usually add a tiny bit of oil here). Cook until the onions begin to turn translucent. You'll want to continue to stir this. 

Step 4 - Add to your pot 

Step 5 - Add your carrots and celery to the pan you just removed the onions and garlic from.. add a little butter. Cook these until there slightly tender - Add to pot. 

Step 6 - Add water to the same pan you cooked your veggies in. When water begins to boil, add some egg noodles. Cook until done. Strain. Add to soup.

Step 7 - Season to taste.
This is 6 POUNDS of chicken noodle soup

Let it cool down a little, and taste again. The most common thing needed is salt. Add slowly - you can always add more but you can't take it away.


If you want to make it look pretty, buy some fresh parsley, chop up finely and sprinkle on top.

To save for later pour into ziplock freezer bags and lay flat in your freezer. Once it's frozen you can stand them up to take less space.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Running in the Rain

Sunday I managed to make it to REI to get a headlamp. So Sunday night I went for my first night time in the rain run.

and it was awesome. 

I took music, put on an upbeat tune (It was Matt and Kim, but I don't really remember what track? I think it was block after block but you should also check out daylight, and cameras by them.. I'll link at the bottom. And you're welcome in advance!)

I had a good pace (couldn't tell you what since I didn't look at the clock) and my legs were moving on their own as I was rocking out. Stuck with just 2 miles since I hadn't ran in a while.

There's a certain amount of freedom that the dark brings. It's so much easier to just pretend the rest of the world doesn't exist when it's just you, the darkness, your light and some music. An added bonus is that you can really tell if you're being all sorts of bobbly when you're running with a light on your head. As I was gliding along my light made a steady line, no jerky up and down movement. Sweet. And it was raining, which made it just that much more fun.

I know a lot of people dread getting out in the rain, but I love the rain.

You don't live in Seattle if you don't have a certain amount of affection for the rain. After living in Arizona for 1.5 years.. I LOVE the rain. I don't love the downpours type rain the rest of the country seems to get, but the misty don't even really notice it rain we have here, is wonderful.

Friday, September 30, 2011


I like Google plus.
The problem with G+ is that so few people are there.
So here's your personal invitation
Come on over to G+!

You can find me here

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Let it be, Let it be

**disclaimer - I don't know how to write this. I should probably wait. My brain is jumbled**  
In our day to day life we worry about so many useless mundane things. Things that if we took a step back we would realize don't matter at all. 

How is my hair
My clothes
Damn that person who cut me off!
Rush, Rush, Rush.
I'm late, I'm late, I'm late

I want, I want, I want. 
More stuff.
More things. 

Lets fight about religion 
Lets fight about debt
Lets fight about politics 

Lets waste our energy hating people based on 
Race, Sexuality and Religion
or lack there of.
Lie, cheat and steal from each other 
to get 'ahead'
I need, I need, I need
Money, Money, Money

The newest technology 
The biggest house
The nicest car

I'm right
You're wrong

Just stop

We spend so much time worrying about tomorrow
that we miss out on today

We spend so much time consumed with the 
what if

that we miss the moment we're in 
right now

Did you see it? 
or did you miss it again. 

Try again 
Close your eyes

'Just love to live and live life today
Don't spend too much of today on yesterday.'

Your hair is fine (or lack there of!)
Your cloths are doing their job of keeping you warm.
Maybe that person really needs to be somewhere
Take your time, it's in limited supply 
so enjoy ever last millisecond

You'll be happier without them.

Let it be, Let it be.

If Sally and Jen want to get married
What difference does that really make in your life?
What difference would it make? 
Let it be, Let it be

You will bleed and die just as quickly as the next guy.
So are you really ever ahead?

More things to break
More things to fix
More things to distract you from the moment you're living in.

It doesn't have to be one way or the other. 
Even what is true is not stagnant. 
Just because something is true today doesn't mean that it will still be true tomorrow 
so why worry about it?
breath breath

I'm sad tonight. 
My brother-in-law by proxy (my BIL brother) 
is in his final days. 
He's 36 years old. 
He is a teacher. 
He has brain cancer. 
For the second time. 
He's been fighting it 
this second time around
For almost a year now. 
And he's on his final stand. 

I sent him flowers. 
I've been told that's a bit depressing.
To send someone flowers before they die. 
I disagree. 
Flowers serve the living much better than they do the dead. 
I am also of the opinion 
that men don't get flowers nearly often enough.

Monday, September 26, 2011

On and On and On

It's raining in Seattle again.
Did it ever stop raining in Seattle?
I don't remember.

I've been a major running slacker goob and haven't ran in over a week. Actually I don't remember the last time I ran, but I remember it was a good run.

Second reason for being a major slacker goob is because I haven't been riding my bike to work, which makes no logical sense. It actually takes me longer to get to work via car than via bike most days. It's that ridiculous. It can take anywhere from 7 minutes to 40 minutes to get the whole 4 damn miles to my job via car. I don't know what my issue or mental block is. I need to get over it. 

And get a head lamp. It's getting dark much earlier now, and not getting light out until later in the morning. 

This is where I make excuses for my slacker tendacies now. 
School is in full swing and I'm still adjusting. I am not used to getting up early in the morning. I hate waking up, even more than I hate going to sleep. 

Got a hair cut, after not cutting it for 5 months, happy to cut it again. Seriously considering shaving it in the semi-near future. No lie. 

Ordered the boy a pair of preschoolians. Currently he doesn't have any shoes that fit him, just a few pairs of suede sole slippers.... which is fine except it's wet out and he needs shoes to go to his playgroup. I'll let you know what I think of them when they get here. I ordered the "I'm walking barefoot" sole. . we'll see. 

Need to plan a trip to NY. 
Maybe December, Maybe February 
Hate spending the money on airfare.

Craving tattoos.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Difference Between Good Runs And Bad Runs

I tend to not do enough of the 'essential to life' things such as eating, sleeping and drinking water. To be honest, most of the time it doesn't occur to me that I need to do them. I go without eating until I'm lightheaded/cranky/starving to death, I go without sleep until I realize it's late and I should probably go to sleep (one of the reasons I keep a scheduled afternoon nap!), and I've had days where I can't remember drinking a single drop of liquid.

Now I know none of these things are good and I try my best to be conscious of them. Recently though, I started to notice a trend.

My 'bad' runs (where my legs felt heavy and movements felt forced, the ones where I'd feel my lungs cramp up) occurred after days of less than stellar hydration. Duh.

Since I've been really paying attention to my water intake my last few runs have been much better, I'm still sticking to two miles, but hope to be able to increase it soon.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

New York, NY

I grew up in New York. 

Long Island to be exact - in the town of Amityville (yup, same place as the movie). 

My parents had been divorced for nearly my entire life (from the time I was 4) so once a month my mother would load me into the car and we'd travel 2.5 hours to meet my father at the half way mark to his house. The trips would only be for the weekend. I moved to my fathers house when I was 15.

With that in mind you can figure that I traveled over the Throgs Neck Bridge a minimum of 264 times (twice a month, twelve months a year, 11 years). The reality is that it was probably more than that, but we'll go with that number. It would be a game for me to spot the NY landmarks from my window The empire state building and the twin towers.  I could only see them going home if I remember correctly.

I can distinctly remember the last time I saw them. It was late April 2001. I can close my eyes and see the New York haze clouding their view. I remember thinking that I wouldn't be seeing this skyline much anymore. You see, I was making this trip to attend my mothers funeral. I made a point to remember it. I didn't realize that it would be the last time I'd ever see that sky line and in just a few months it would look dramatically different.

I was 16 on September 11, 2001. A senior in High School. I was in my psychology class, upstate New York,  4 hours from the city. We spent the rest of day in front of televisions until they sent us home. We sat, and we watced. I walked home alone, as I always did. The skies were eerily quiet and empty. I never noticed how many planes were in the sky until there were no longer planes in the sky. I was worried for my good friends that still lived in NYC.

My cousin was supposed to be at the twin tours that day, but wasn't. Ultimately, no one I directly knew was killed that day, but there's likely only a one or two person degree of separation to know someone who died that day. Here's mine.

[Peter J. O'Neill Jr.]
Peter O'Neill Jr

He lived a few blocks from me (ironically in the 'Amityville Horror House'), and I went to school with his younger brother Thomas (along with tons of his cousins that I knew - it seemed everyone was related to the O'Neills in Amityville). One of his uncles was my middle school principle. I played soccer on a team with a few of his cousins. His service was held at the church associated with the school I had attended with his brother, the same church my mothers service was held at just months before.

Think of peace and happiness today my friends.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

What You Miss When You're Going Too Fast

Yesterday on my run I found a dollar bill.

I like to think I've found a fair amount of money laying in the street in my life. I wonder how long it laid there before someone came strolling by paying enough attention to the ground they were walking on to notice it.

On our bike trip across the country, I found an entire wallet that contents had been strewn on both sides of the street for about 1/4 mile. I don't remember the exact amount of each but hundreds of dollars in cash, giftcards, and also some credit cards along with ID etc.  All because I saw the license upside down on the road. I would have never seen it if I had been moving faster (as a matter of fact, my better half rode right on by it - he was running with me yesterday as well and stepped right over the dollar)

The wallet ended up belonging to a teenager that had just graduated high school (that's why there were so many gift cards). He was lucky enough to live in a small town where his last name only brought up one name in the phone book. We were able to get it all mailed back to him.   

I've been slacking a little bit on running. We went to a family event that took us down the Oregon coast and away from home for four days, after a hike that was supposed to be 8 miles but turned into about 12 ( I think, more on that later), only to come back and start going to work to get things ready for the start of the school year. It's getting darker earlier now so with work starting I'm going to have to really figure out a schedule for running in order to make it happen. I tried going for a run in between there, but got about .5 miles and wasn't feeling into it so I headed home.

Happy trails - slow down and enjoy the view! 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Margaret Lake - Take Two

First trip to Margaret Lake Here
So we decided to try our luck at Margaret lake again with hope that most if not all of the snow would be melted. We got a nice typical mid afternoon heat of the day start to our hike. The trail was much easier to follow sans snow, and much greener too with the wildflowers finally starting to bloom.

Well that looks a little familiar

We were able to follow the trail and were pretty surprised by how far off trail we had previously been, and happily surprised when we entered into the wooded area. There were points that were semi hard to follow but someone had gone through and marked the trees with some duct tape that let us know we were still on track.

I started getting blisters on the back of my heels (stupid shoes - but I didn't know if we would encounter snow or not) so I took them off and hiked the wooded area bare. The ground was surprisingly cool and very refreshing to the mid-day heat. At some point I hit my arch on a rock (even after I couldn't see it) and got a small bruise but no big deal. We started encountering some snow so I put on my huaraches but as the snow started getting more dense so back on went the shoes. 

We made the switchback descent down to the lake and by the time we got close there was nothing but snow.

The lake was crystal clear but with no where to sit and eat our lunch because of the snow we headed back up the trail to a clearing where it split off into two separate trails (the second goes to Lake Lillian). When we got there we encountered two barefooters! We chatted momentarily and let them know there was a substantial amount of snow on the trail, sat and ate our lunch before heading back down the trail.

All in all, I don''t think we'll be doing this trail again.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Twin Falls And Random Musings

Last Friday we took a short hike to Twin Falls. We have actually done this hike in the past, but it wasn't a very good experience for me and we didn't make it to the second fall. It was last year, I was still nursing the baby, hadn't eaten, was carrying him on my back and it was hot. Not a very good combination. This time around was much better. 

It's an easy hike with two waterfall views (hence the name). What we didn't know was that apparently the trail you follow continues going pretty much forever. Our friend was with us and was able to pull up our GPS coordinates on his smart phone which told us that we had left the park we had started in. 

Cell phones. They're such a fine line to balance. People are naked without them, can't go without checking them, must respond the moment someone beckons. A third of the time I forget to charge my phone, another third I don't know where it is and the final third it's likely sitting around my house somewhere. I occasionally talk to one of my best friends over in NY and on a rare occasion my sister will call me when driving home later in the evening because I'm the only person she knows that will still be up. Other than that I talk to and text my husband, and I also occasional text said best friend. All my other communicating is done online. 

Oh yea, and my phone is a go phone... yup. You read that right. The only thing my phone does is text and call. There is beauty in the simplicity.
Our Spot For Lunch

Anyway, once we realized we had gone too far (we were on a limited time schedule and our very smart friend had hurt his knee recently... more on that in a moment) we turned back and found a spot down by the river to enjoy some lunch (Rotini + Chicken + Kidney beans + Red Onion + Roasted Red Pepper Dressing + a little Salt and pepper) before heading back. 

Our Friends Knee.... 
Well.. lets see... he decided to go for a run. He was once a runner. Then he became a smoker. After about a year of being a smoker, he decided he wasn't a smoker anymore. He's now trying to become a runner again. Good for him! 

He decided to go for a quick 15 minute run between studying for his classes. He just moved to a new apt and was exploring the new area. He got lost... 

8 miles later he found his way home. (or so he says. .I bet it was more like 4 from the area he was describing) 

Needless to say......  The next day his knees hurt. A lot. Both of them. A few days later he sends a text asking if we're on to go hiking the next day. We say sure. He shows up with a knee brace on. *le sigh* He was hurting by the end of the hike but was still planning on doing some stair climbing later in the week... 

A reminder that doing too much too soon will come back to bite you every time. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Just Some Random Days

I've been a slacking a bit on my posting. Lets see what have we been up to.

We went berry picking - our seasons are all out of whack because of the cold weather we've been experiences. We got our Raspberries from Biringer Farm -they just came into season about a week ago. We picked our Blueberries a few weeks ago at Bill Pace Fruit and Produce . We'll probably go back to the blueberry fields before the seasons over to stock up a bit, but we went a little overboard with the raspberries and ended up picking 12 lbs. Opps!

This was the result of our berry picking adventure. He enjoyed himself.

This is what his hair always looks like.. it's uncontrollable.

We also went down to visit my in laws who live down by Portland and went to the county fair. Lots of cows, chickens, llamas and the like and a bunch of a cool old firetrucks.

I have a soft spot for llamas. They're so goofy.
 They also had a live pony merry-go-round. Surprisingly he liked it more than the fake kind. He's usually busy trying to grab back onto one of us as soon as it gets going.

We took a walk downtown. I'll have to write about Pike Place Market and how there's so much more to it than the fish throwing that everyone sees. Pike Place is huge and includes several levels and alleys.

Silver man repainting his glasses...

Almost forgot to add - I'm now up to running 2 miles at a go.. and the other day I ran a mile in the morning and another 2 in the evening. Baby steps, baby steps.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Olympic National Park - Hoh Rainforest: Five Mile Island, Spruce Nature Trail, Hall of Mosses, Second Beach, Cape Flattery, Ruby Beach and Hurricane Ridge

We wanted to take a trip over to the Olympic Peninsula, home of the Olympic National Park, as a weekend getaway. It's a few hours drive from Seattle, but in the 5 years I've lived here, I'd never been over there. It was also our first camping trip with a toddler.

We caught the early morning ferry (6:10am) Friday morning. I didn't sleep the night before because well... I'm a terrible sleeper. Instead I stayed up packing the car and making sure we had everything we would need. I ended up sleeping about two hours on the drive over and after that I was ready to go. I think we arrived around 9:30am - 10:00am. Picked out a camp site, set up our tent and set out on our hike for the day.

We had decided to do the 10 mile round trip Five Mile Island hike the first day. I really wish that we could have kept going. I'd love to do the whole 35 mile round trip Hoh River Trail someday, but it's not likely with a 2 year old.

The forest is lined with old growth trees, covered in moss. When the trail breaks back towards the river you get beautiful mountain views.

Once we finished up our hike we headed towards Forks (any Twilight fans?) to get some food to make for dinner. Forks has been taken over by Twilight. It makes me happy for them being able to cash in on the popularity, but worry for the town just the same as more than half the businesses we saw revolved around Twilight. I wonder what they will become when the popularity fades. We ate some dinner and turned in early (okay, we fell asleep putting the baby to bed. That's what not sleeping the night before, only sleeping two hours in the car and hiking over 10 miles will get you).

The next day our intentions were to make it to Second Beach and Cape Flattery, and also to do the short Spruce Nature Trail as well as the Hall Of Mosses located in the Hoh. The tide was coming in when we made it to Second Beach, so we didn't roam the coast too much. The tide can come up quickly on you and in some places faster than others so it's best to err on the side of caution. We kicked our shoes off and took a nice stroll on the ultra soft sand.

Next we made the drive up to Cape Flattery, and truth be told, I'm not entirely sure it was worth the time in the car. Cape Flattery is the northwestern most point in the continental United States. The sections of the drive that follow the coast you can spot Canada across the water. There were a few sea lions bopping in and out of the water as the waves crashed against the coast. On our way back to our campsite we happened upon a few elk lounging around near the side of the road.

The Spruce Nature Trail and the Hall Of Mosses are basically little hikes to allow anyone the experience of hiking through the rainforest without having to go far. They're both just short loops with very developed and maintained trails. Beautiful scenery none the less.

On Sunday morning we woke up to find two bucks snacking on the greens right behind our tent. The plan of the day was to make it out to Ruby Beach while the tide was still low to get a glimpse of some tide pools. It's pretty amazing how far out the water recedes with low tide and how quickly it begins to come back in.

Our last stop on the way home was Hurricane Ridge. The drive up the mountain was incredibly foggy and than amazingly you reached the top to find a crystal clear sky. Very neat experience, but scary going up and down a winding road on the edge of a mountain with so little visibility. There was still plenty of snow covering sections of the trails and several does just wandering around.    

To end our journey we caught the ferry back to Seattle. We rounded out the weekend with a nice 1.5 mile run and .5 mile walk. Phew, what a weekend!