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A Little of This and a Little of That

Right, then…

Some random updates and such, on a random Saturday night.

  • Going backpacking with a buddy next Thursday.  We’re doing the Skyline to the Sea Trail which starts at Castle Rock State Park and ends at Waddell Beach, near Santa Cruz.  All in all, it’s about 33 miles total, broken up in to 10, 10 and 13 mile chunks.  While there is going to be a negative elevation change, there are still uphills to contend with.  I’m a little nervous as I haven’t been hiking much, but then again, I’ve heard of guys in much worse shape than me doing more, so maybe I just need to chill and roll with it.
  • A funny story in re to the pending backpacking trip.  As I do not have much space where I live, I set the tent up at a friends house so I can seal the seams (this prevents rain from entering the tent).  I left the tent set up so the sealant can dry and…well…one of their dogs, Booda (or Boo Boo’s, or  Boo Boo Kisses, or Kissy Boo Boo’s – he has several monikers), really liked the tent.  A lot.  So he decided to mark it as his own.  While it was a pain to deal with, I have to laugh – he was just being a dog.  Regardless, one of today’s projects was to run the tent through the washer to ensure that all of the urine smells are gone.  So that was fun.
  • Big news on the IT front:  My name is MIM2 and I am now a Mac user.  My friend (the one with the tent-loving dog) was upgrading to a new Mac and I bought her old machine (only 3 yrs and top of the line at that).  This is good for two reasons:  1)  I’ve been wanting to switch to the Mac platform as it is much less susceptible to viruses (virii?) than PC, and 2) my old machine was dying.  In its defense, it was designed for light usage and I put it in to heavy rotation.  Also – no fault of its own – it picked up a virus or two which made it run deathly slow.  I’m also on the verge of trading in my Droid X for an iPhone4S to get me all on the same platform.  My but this is lovely Kool Aid…I feel sleeker already.  All that said, I do not have any intention of getting an iPad – I’ve played with one before and I like having a real keyboard.  As for having an eReader, I just got a Kindle Touch, which I like because it doesn’t have that damn shiny screen that the iPad has.
  • On the running front, I’ve switched over to barefoot running after reading 17 thousand million websites about it.  The main reason is that I have a damaged achilles heel (left side) and my right knee was starting to get more and more sore when I ran with shoes.  Running barefoot (or with a minimalist shoe) trains the foot and leg muscles to actually support the body while running – the way they did up until 1970 when Nike was invented – which helps lessen, if not eliminate, damage due to impact.  I’m running completely barefoot now and my mileage dropped from 5 to 6 miles down to 0.5, initially. I have since built up to 2.5 miles.  The danger of building up too fast is that you can rip out muscles, tendons and ligaments that are normally not used whilst running in shoes – those need to be slowly conditioned.  Also, the soles of the feet and adapt only so fast.  In time, I might go back to running in Huaraches  (Mexican sandals), to allow for some foot protection over nasty surfaces. The long-range goal is to train for (and participate in) an ultramarathon running either barefoot or wearing a minimalist shoe. [For reference, an ultramarathon is anything more than 26.2 miles; these can be 50K (32 mi), 50 mi, 100K (62 mi) or 100 mi.  I don’t see myself going much beyond the 50 mile mark, personally].
  • In the personal growth department, I’m on the verge of signing up for a creative writing class.  I say “on the verge of” because I have to go through some administrative hoops before they let me give them money…not sure what that’s all about. This scares the hell out of me, actually.  While I have always professed to having no right brain, that’s well…sort of bullshit.  I have one, and it is excellent at coming up with random stuff, but it’s not very good at a) lying and b) organizing – both of which are critical for fiction writing (think about it:  All a story is, is an elaborate lie.) So the brain that can come up with ransom demands such as a 37 watt light bulb, a copy of Smokey and the Bandit III on Beta and a bag of toast, cannot necessarily come up with a story complete with, plot, characters and a point.  Also, to add to the terror, I’m told that poetry is going to be involved.  Oh, happy day.

Why, then, am I subjecting myself to this?  A couple of reasons.  First, I want to be a better writer.  I’ve had friends compliment my writing, but I know it could be better.  Further, professionally, I know that I would benefit from some writing skills for reports that I need to write (though Risk Management Plans for the EPA are only going to be so entertaining – the best I can do is improve clarity).  Also, I’ve always wanted to write.  After reading that, though, that reason seems sort of thin – a lot of people want to be a writer.  I think what we’re all saying is that we want to be a successful writer, with a bungalow that has a view of the woods or the beach (or both, if you live in certain parts of California) and be subtly famous and sign autographs, but not so much that meals are constantly interrupted and – most importantly – not have a daily grind to go to.  Which, yeah – that sounds nice…and while we’re at it, I also want a Gulfstream V and my own battalion of Cheerleaders, since we’re on the topic of my indulgence.  So, point being, I’m taking a swing a writing.

  • In the same vein, I’m playing a little more with graphic art stuff, but that’s more for professional reasons.  The new job has me doing some communication posters (eWaste collection events, Bike to Work Day, Earth Day – that sort of stuff) that are hung up around the site.  I laugh because I’m not an artistic person; they claim neither are they, but I have more time to do this stuff, so here I am.  I’m taking this opportunity to push myself into unchartered waters and see how things shake out.  Not taking a class for this just yet; I’m only doing some reading:  “Graphic Design for Non-Designers”.  So, we’ll see how this goes.
  • Finally, for a brief moment in time, I was part of the Facebook IPO.  In the end I made $92.  After capital gains tax and brokerage fees, I’m left with enough to buy me some nice deodorant.  Note that I did not say new deodorant; just nice deodorant…thus, I’ll be shopping for some on Craigslist.

OK, enough of this.  Have a good weekend, folks.


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