30 Days of Gratitude Revisited


Thanks to the wonders of TimeHop I have been enjoying the massive ’30 Days of Gratitude’ I undertook last November (2014). And while I am not blogging anymore – and don’t really have plans to start again anytime soon – I thought it would be nice to round up all 30 days and put them out there for everyone … and so I can easily revisit them in one place.


30 Days of Gratitude – Day #1

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #2, Layoff Bliss

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #3, Feeding Frenzy

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #4, Right Here, Right Now

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #5, Yes Doctor

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #6, Emotions

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #7, I Can See (and Hear) That!

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #8, A Place For Everything

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #9, The Joy of Nothing

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #10, Hello Heroes, Goodbye Vietnam-Era Hate

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #11, Always a Bigger Fish

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #12, The Quest for New Noms to Nom

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #13, The Small Joys of Video Games

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #14, The Tech-ification of Running

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #15, The Skin I Am In

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #16, I Could NOT Have Done That

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #17, Force of Will

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #18, Being Recognized

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #19, The Joy of an Epic (or not) Read

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #20, Another Year of 3000+ Running Miles

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #21, You Guys Are Awesome (Mustache Some Questions Post)

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #22, Getting Old Might Suck, But Who Really Wants to Be Young Forever?!

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #23, The Power to Walk Away

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #24, Why Did They Help Me?

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #25, ‘Elephant With Earrings’***

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #26, Five Things for a Thankful Thanksgiving

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #27, I’ve Got the Music In Me

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #28, The Simple Joy of Running

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #29, Chip(s) Off The Old Block

30 Days of Gratitude – Day #30, The Better Part of Me

And there you have it … exhausting to write last year, but really said so much about who I am and what matters to me.

I hope everyone has much to be thankful for this year and gets to express it to those you love. I know that some people don’t have that luxury or opportunity, and it is one reason I try to never take what I have for granted!

The ‘Goodbye Post’ – 26, 3, 7, 24, 49, 5 and a ‘New Home’

Hey all … yeah, another out of the blue post. This could very well be my last post on this blog, or not. I am setting it up that way – but who really knows, right? I mean, I just posted about Sexual Violence a couple of weeks ago, which was totally unplanned. Oh well …


But in reality, I have titled this the Goodbye Post intentionally. Because it is my plan. I have deleted my drafts, removed the bookmark from my ‘Daily Links’ tab group, and at this point the only place I am maintaining the connection to the blog is on my phone in the WordPress app.

Why? More on that at the end.

Anyway, it seems like there are a lot of numbers swirling in my head right now. And not just because I am a statistician, either! No – these are all ‘life numbers’. So let’s go!

26 … years a runner!

I talk about this in my origin story, saying:

For some reason I can’t really remember, in early 1989 I started jogging. At first I started doing it at night, but found that I was full from dinner and tired from the day (I was working a couple of part time retail jobs), so I switched to the morning. It wasn’t much – a mile or two at most and at a very slow pace – and honestly after a month I didn’t notice any difference, and no one knew but my family so I was about to give up.

Yes, sometime in February of 1989 I started running. Exactly when I have no clue – or even why. I was losing weight, and for some reason must have thought that running in the middle of winter was a great idea.

That was 26 years ago … 1989. GPS wasn’t commercially available yet, tech clothes were still pretty rudimentary and expensive, shoes were much simpler in the days before minimal / maximal / neutral / stability / toe-shoes … and so on.

And for the majority of those 26 years running was just something I did – it was about staying in shape, weight maintenance, but it was never a ‘passion’ until a few years ago. But I don’t want to downplay it … I was running ~15 or so miles per week, 5 days/week, and still running outside all the way to -10 wind chills and trudging through up to a foot or more of snow. So while my view of running has changed, as has the volume of miles I do (and pace), the reality is that I have always been pretty hardcore about the whole thing.

Speaking of running becoming a true passion …

3 … years since I started ‘serious running’!

Easter weekend 2012, the weekend after my 46th birthday my brother came to visit and we went for a run … and it was awful for me. We apparently did a few miles (he went out again after I was done) and only managed an 11+ minute pace. WAKE UP CALL! The year before he had challenged me to run a marathon with me and I said ‘sure’ … and promptly went back to gaining weight and not running.

But 2012 was different … I had started and failed to sustain running beginning in January, but then restarted again … and again. But after that run on April 8th … I never stopped!

This is another reason I love TimeHop – a couple of weeks ago I saw a post from 2012 from the morning I really stretched it out and ran 6.31 miles … and was really feeling the after-effects. Amazing how time flies!

Everything changed that April three years ago – I went from running as weight maintenance to running for joy and a healthier lifestyle. I now eat more than I ever have when not obese, because I want to properly fuel myself to stay healthy and keep running. And I can feel the effects on my conditioning, endurance and overall health.

7 … years at Corning / in New York!

Another thing I have written about is getting laid off in October 2007, that I had already started my job-hunt, and that I had a great 3-months short-term job at a now defunct company AEB before starting work at Corning in March 2008.

Corning is a great company, they invest more than 10% into R&D – for comparison, Shipley (then Rohm & Haas and now Dow) invests 2%, which is more of a normal amount. This means that there is always something exciting happening, and I have been able to work on some great products, including some that were cancelled and others that have become commercially successful products.

But the move to Corning also meant uprooting from Massachusetts, the kids starting new schools, making new friends and so on. After all these years I have to be honest that I am STILL a ‘Boston boy’, but this area has been great, and is really home to the boys.

In so many ways getting laid off was the best thing that could have happened to me back then.


24 … year Engage-aversary!

I brought this up last year as well … A long time ago when we were a young couple people told us that once married things like the date of engagement would matter less. Well, while it might be true that we don’t have the same level of celebration any more, April 12th will always be the day Lisa agreed to marry me, and I always make a point to … well, make a point about it.

And that is the thing for me – as a young couple you will have people around you always telling you stuff, what will happen, how you will behave and on and on. It is fine to listen and take in their data – just remember that what they are saying is about THEM and not YOU.

49 … years old!

Yes, back in early April I had another birthday. Darn things show up every year! My family always makes me feel special, and that more than material things is what really matters. Last year I got my beloved Nutribullet, this year I *really* needed a suit (haven’t had one that fits me since I lost weight). And the boys got me a cast iron pan and Lisa also grabbed me a travel mug for coffee/tea at my desk at work, and since it was also Easter I got some chocolate :)

We took the day and headed to Ithaca – it is a wonderful little community that is very much influenced by having Cornell University and Ithaca College there, and just wandering around town, then having dinner before heading home. My choice for an evening movie? Star Wars Empire Strikes Back … always a great time!

But seriously – LOOK at my life:
– Wonderful wife
– Two smart, funny, talented and awesome kids
– Great home in a nice area with two dogs, two cats, easy commute
– Perfect area for my daily runs

Here is the reality – I am in the best shape of my life at 49. Not too shabby!

5 … months since I stopped drinking soda!

With all of the healthy changes I’ve made in my life only one thing really remained (I don’t count my ice cream habit) – soda. If you go back to last November I was going through up to a dozen 24-oz Diet Mountain Dew bottles per week. Ugh – I knew I wanted to cut way back, and decided that it would be a cool New Year’s Goal.

But in mid-December I decided to start making the change, and just stopped. Between then and the end of December I had two sodas, both while out to lunch with Lisa and/or the boys. But nothing else since – not a single soda. I have had iced tea with meals out, and pretty much water (or coffee or tea) otherwise.

I don’t miss it … but the first week in January I noticed it was hard to stay alert (or awake) in post-lunch meetings! I’ve gotten used to it … and no longer crave soda!

It was also important to me to NOT increase my coffee intake, though I definitely drink more Green and Herbal Teas.

If you are contemplating it – give it a try! We know the stuff is bad for us, so why not?

‘New’ Home – The Monday Mile

I have been writing for the tech enthusiast site ‘Gear Diary’ since 2009 (another number – just passed 6 years!). The series I had started back in 2012 that looked at running – gear, clothes, health, safety and running itself – was called ‘The Monday Mile’. I did a post on occasional Mondays (in case you hadn’t gotten that yet) that allowed me to satisfy my ‘runner-blog’ itch in between all the other stuff.

As I pushed ahead with this blog my writing for Gear Diary waned and ‘The Monday Mile’ essentially formed my working template for posts I wrote. But I could write more personal stuff, really stick my neck out without worrying that it was someone else’s space. So as I leave my personal blog behind, I am still at Gear Diary and that is where my running posts will go.

So far I have done five ‘Monday Mile’ posts this year:

Running Visible is More Important Than ‘Looking Cool’

Five Reasons Not to Seek Advice From ‘That Running Guy’

What I Learned from My 65-Day Running Streak

Anatomy of an Extreme Sub-Zero Runner

Why Running Milestones Matter

However, as I slowed down here I started making the same mistake at Gear Diary – I dove in deep and between December and March did more than 300 posts. Ugh – “not sustainable” … so I won’t be THERE at the same pace either. But if I am writing, it will be there!

SO WHY is this GoodBye?

While there are several reasons I could discuss about why rather than ‘scaling back’ I need to just say goodbye, at least for the rest of 2015 – ultimately it comes down to two things:

Shifting Priorities and Unsustainable Effort:

When I really got into running I discovered that the knowledge that had sustained me for so many years was inadequate, so I started ‘reading’, by which of course I mean browsing web sites. I had a couple of sites suggested to me, which led me through comments to others, then still others, and so on.

But as anyone who loves scrapbooking but then takes on a Creative Memories home business will tell you, suddenly things shift from doing what you love to running a business … and you wonder what you got into.

For me the priorities have always been running and THEN (much lower) talking/writing about running.

When I look at my major pursuits outside of work, they include family, running, music, computer games, and books. Oh, and having a home and cars and pets, cooking & cleaning and laundry and occasionally ‘sleeping’. People have commented asking how I sustain all of it – and the basic answer is ‘with great difficulty’. But even then it requires compromise – less focus on music, fewer of the computer games I love, less reading, and I haven’t (re-)sharpened my programming skills the way I want to do (I love the R programming tool used for statistics, but I am very inefficient).

So this year I want to continue my focus on family and running … but I want to focus more on my music now that I have my music studio re-assembled. I also put aside mobile games and am focusing on the classic computer games I enjoy (for like-minded folks, definitely check out Pillars of Eternity!). And while my goal was one book a month and I have only finished 2.5 so far – that is more than all of last year!

Shifting priorities to expand effort in one area means less time for other pursuit. I am lucky that this has been my best year at work since … well, best ever at Corning and best overall in at least 10-15 years. Which is awesome – but also very demanding and exhausting!

Oh, one final number: 25.

25 … Awesome blogs you should be reading

Why 25? Who knows – it seemed like a good number, and a good representation of many of the blogs I love to read …and then suddenly I realized it could have been 30 – or 40 or 50! So I was more adamant about it being 25! One person not represented here is Laura Parson, as she has disconnected so that her social media identity is clear as she continues her educational path towards doctorate, fellowships, professorships and so on.

1. Harold at Aging Runnah
2. Ann at Ann’s Running Commentary
3. Danielle at T-Rex Runner
4. Megan at The Lyon’s Share
5. Sara at Life Between the Miles
6. Cori at She’s Going the Distance
7. Carina at Carina’s Running Career
8. Rachel at Darlin’ Rae
9. Mary at Four the Health of It
10. Laura at Fit Fresh and Funny
11. Lisa at Running Out of Wine
12. Michele at Paleo Running Momma
13. Olena at Candies and Crunches
14. Carson at Running Southern
15. Fallon at Slacker Runner
16. Colby & Tina at Marathon and a Sprint
17. Hollie at FueledByLOLZ
18. Sarah at Running on Healthy
19. Sarah at Shh… Fit Happens
20. Jennifer at Running on Lentils
21. Judith at So Very Slightly Mad
22. Lauren at RunSaltRun
23. Amy at Miss Adventures in Running
24. Andy at OmniRunner
25. Nicole at The Girl Who Ran Everywhere
… and as I said, there were several more I could have added that I follow!

So what next?

I don’t really know … I have still been reading your blogs, but not always and not completely and my commenting has obviously gone way down. But I still value your voices, and hope to continue to stay in touch.

I have also been playing around on Google+, Quora, Tumblr and so on. Not sure any of those will be a new place for me, but they are interesting, anyway.

Also, I exist in other social media:

So if you are on those places and we don’t already follow each other – hook me up and we can look at each other’s sweaty running selfies, kids, pets, and whatever else!

Thanks again for everything – you all inspire, engage, and amuse me!

April is Sexual Violence Awareness Month

April is Sexual Violence Awareness Month. Did you know that? I didn’t, until Suzie retweeted a post at FairyBurger called ‘Sexual Violence’. Since I consider myself socially aware, that bothers me – I mean, we see all sorts of things on Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr and Instagram every day … why does THIS important issue get so little visibility?

Sexual Violence Awareness Month

The focus of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center campaign for 2015 is ‘campus sexual violence prevention’. There is WAY too much data and evidence of the incidence and impact of sexual violence in our society. As I have a child who will be heading off to college in the fall, and I worry all of the time about his safety and well being.

For young kids in college the possibility of sexual violence during this vulnerable time is all too real. While they are technically adults, for many this is the first experience away from home as an independent person, and that reality can come with some awful consequences.

From the FairyBurger post:

Sexual Violence At A Glance

  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives (Black et al., 2011).
  • 20–25% of college women and 15% of college men are victims of forced sex during their time in college. (Cullen et al., 2000)
  • More than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault. (Fisher et al., 2000)
  • 81% of women and 35% of men report significant short- or long-term impacts such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. (Black et al, 2011)
  • In 8 out of 10 cases of rape, the victim knew the perpetrator. (Miller et al., 1996)
  • Rape is the most under-reported crime; 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to police. (Rennison, 2002)
  • The prevalence of false reporting is low, between 2% and 10%. For example, a study of eight U.S. communities, which included 2,059 cases of sexual assault, found a 7.1% rate of false reports. (Lonsway et al., 2009)

On April 1st President Obama shared a statement regarding the month:

Nearly one in five women in America has been a victim of rape or attempted rape. Every year, too many women and too many men are sexually assaulted and abused. This is an affront to our basic decency and humanity, and it must end. Sexual assault harms our communities, weakens the foundation of our Nation, and hurts those we love most. For survivors, the awful pain can take years to heal — sometimes it never does. When an individual’s possibilities are limited by the scars of violence and abuse, our country is deprived of enormous potential. Sexual assault takes a collective toll on all of us, and it is everyone’s responsibility not only to speak out, but also to take action against this injustice.

And he concludes by saying:

I urge all Americans to support survivors of sexual assault and work together to prevent these crimes in their communities.

You can get more information about the National Sexual Violence Resource Center on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

One of my best running blogger buddies Laura is working towards her PhD in Women’s Studies, and is undertaking a huge goal – a Cross Country run to raise awareness of the impact of sexual violence. The run happens in 2016 and you can follow along here.

I wrote about this last year, highlighting many articles that seemed to keep popping up in my feed of what women runners had to endure because they were women … who were running. Far beyond lewd catcalls, they are tales of groping and grabbing and stalking – and we’ve all read about female runners who were murdered!

I noted my own experience being cat-called, saying that while it resembles what women experience in a superficial way, in reality it is critically different:

I have absolutely no real concern of being physically sexually assaulted. I know it happens, but it is so small compared to the likely hood of a woman being assaulted – even killed – for no more than being a woman out for a run. It is disgusting.

This behavior is unacceptable

Regardless of where you fall on social justice issues or the political spectrum, this seems like a topic we can all agree upon – we need to make sexual violence history and make all of the kids who head to class in the fall feel safe. And all of the people in airports, walking down streets, going to conferences and meetings and grocery shopping … and even just heading to their car after work.

I long for the day that I no longer feel the need to talk about this issue.

Going Old School – Modifying Running Shoes


Another ‘must read’ post from Harold – I am not a ‘shoe modifier’, I leave my tinkering for technology :) But if you are dealing with minor shoe issues – especially with the way brands constantly mess with things – here are some great thoughts for adapting shoes to YOUR feet!

Originally posted on Harold L. Shaw, Jr.:

Okay, I am going to say this right up front…

If you cut, rip out seams, put holes in the uppers or damage your shoes in any way, you did it not me and you chose to do it all by yourself.

Whaaaaatttttt in the hell are you talking about Harold?

In our efforts to find the perfect running shoe to fit our feet, we will go to extreme measure that are far beyond, simply putting our feet into a pair of running shoes and heading out the door for a run.

Some of the tools of the modification game Some of the tools of the modification game

We do this to make a pair of shoes our own or to make them fit our feet better.

View original 1,511 more words

NEDA Focuses on Athletes and Eating Disorders


I hadn’t realized this was National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and that in particular today is focused on Athletes … and by that they are not talking just about professionals – they are talking about US.

The focus today is on “Athletes and Eating Disorders”

Body image problems, disordered eating and full-blown eating disorders are common among athletes. Though most athletes with eating disorders are female, male athletes are also at risk—especially those competing in sports such as wrestling, bodybuilding, gymnastics, and running, which tend to place an emphasis on the athlete’s diet, appearance, size, and weight requirements.

In a study of Division 1 NCAA athletes, over one-third of female athletes reported attitudes and symptoms placing them at risk for anorexia nervosa (Johnson, Powers, et al, 1999). In weight-class and aesthetic sports about 33% of males and up to 62% of females are affected by an eating disorder (Thompson, PhD. 2010). The good news is that with information and awareness, coaches, parents and teammates can all play an important role in confronting eating disorders and ensuring that athletics are a positive experience for everyone.

Laura wrote a great post about this yesterday, and Meghan did as well today.

On Laura’s I wrote a comment: “I didn’t lose more than 100 pounds – twice – without being pretty messed up regarding my relationship with food.

I say I have ‘disordered thinking’ – and that it is PERMANENT.

And that is how I feel about eating disorders – they are like alcoholism except you have to eat every day. You are never cured of alcoholism, and I believe you are never cured of an disordered eating.

I am now at nearly 3 years within +/-5lbs of target, which for someone my size (6’1″, played line in high school football) is a pretty small and tight distribution. I eat 3 meals every day, enjoy chocolate and ice cream and pizza and even occasional fried foods. But as you mention, I am incredibly aware of what I am eating not just NEXT … but as a ‘5 day rolling average’ – and how it correlates with how I am feeling and my workout schedule.”

It took me until I was in my late 40s to realize that it was more than ‘just being weird about food’, or about being a ‘former obese person’, but that I had an unhealthy relationship with food … and that it extends to my relationship with exercise. It is something I feel I am in a good place with right now … at least relatively speaking. I find awareness is key.

I have to be honest that I see WAY too much disordered or borderline stuff out in the running and ‘healthy living’ community, and it is something I deliberately pulled back from in recent months. I have tried commenting and even the occasional message … but as I know myself, change must come from within.

I hope everyone reading takes a minute to look inward – maybe you have no issues, which is great. But maybe you are always hopping on the latest fad ‘diet’ – even if it is a non-diet like #eatclean or the latest fad cleanse or Paleo-based restrictions that seemed to be on half of the books at Barnes & Noble when we stopped in after Christmas.

Maybe you hop from obsession to obsession – diet to exercise to clean eating to … ? Who knows. Maybe you are constantly ending up injured for no good reason or have other warning signs. Maybe you have no warning signs and just feel everyone is out to get you. Maybe like another comment on Laura’s post said you want to be ‘just a bit too thin’ but not really too skinny.

Whatever it is, take a minute and think about yourself and your relationship with eating and exercise … and ask for help if you need it.

Russian Optimism – Nursery Rhymes With an Innocent Title & Horrible Ending


I love the comic The Oatmeal, and highlighted a speech given by Oatmeal cartoonist Matthew Inman at BAHfest about a month ago. I was contacted about a new dark humor book called Russian Optimism, which they describe as having innocent titles and horrible endings. The book is an illustrated coffee table book with illustrations and translations, and I was given a digital copy to check out.

I loved this book and found it both dark and morbid, but also hilarious. Let’s be clear – you need a certain sense of humor to appreciate this. Most people will be like my wife, who reacted to most pages by saying ‘that’s AWFUL’! For example, one of the rhymes is called The Woods:

The Woods: “A little boy found a machine gun. Nothing lives in the woods anymore.”

The format is as shown on the image above – on one side you get a graphic, and on the other the text: title, English translation, original Russian and the transliteration. The author notes that rather than incorporate the original rhyming scheme he chose to focus on preserving the original context and meaning.

The rhymes are grouped in seven ironically titled chapters: Moral Messages, Parenting Pointers, Classic Cooking, Aquatic Adventures, Close Calls, Cheery Children and Explosive Endings.

Russian Optimism author Ben Rosenfeld notes that when he was growing up in New York as the child of Soviet immigrants, these rhymes highlighted many of the cultural differences between America and Russia. As he notes, whereas in America most movies have a happy ending, in a Russian movie if it looks like the hero will survive, you can be pretty sure he won’t.

Where to buy?

Direct from Russian Optimism.com – $25 ($20 + $5 shipping)
Amazon.com – $27.36
Barnes & Noble – $27.71

Here is the ‘book trailer’:

Wednesday Wandering Mind – Social Media Reset, Twain, Former Fatties, more


Hey all! Happy Wednesday! I had a few things simmering that I wanted to put out there, and a New Year’s decision pushed me to put them out today. So let’s just jump around *** with it ..

1. Social Media Reset

Over the last couple of weeks I have spent time cleaning up my Twitter and Instagram feeds (no plans to mess with Facebook) as if with a machete. Some people weren’t following me back in spite of my follow and even exchanging comments, others I had no idea how/why I was following, and on Twitter I had to get rid of most of the super-chatty folks as well as people obviously marketing stuff. It has helped my accounts become more manageable, which is awesome.

But on Monday morning as I opened up my email after barely touching electronics all weekend (yay!), I read all of the pent-up blogs in my email as well as my WordPress reader. And my thought? Well THIS has to stop right now!

So I took a ‘scorched earth’ approach and simply started unsubscribing from the mailing lists of blogs and removing any that I did NOT get on email from my WordPress reader, and also killing anything I hadn’t opened in a week from my RSS feeds. Basically, if I didn’t follow your blog before I launched this one, I no longer get an email, if I didn’t get an email this past week I no longer follow you on WordPress, and only a very few blogs remained on RSS (basically those I can’t get through WordPress or email … like Blogger blogs).

So again, nothing personal … I needed to cut WAY back, and I also need to stop feeling like I have to comment on every post I read so you know I stopped by. If I ‘liked’ it, I actually DO … and if you don’t have a ‘Like’ button? Argh! As to how and when I will rebuild? Who knows.

2. Mark Twain’s Gravesite Vandalized

The image at the top is from the Mark Twain grave site, which is in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira NY, about a 10 minute drive from our house. Lisa and I did a fun graveyard tour just before Halloween this year, and the curator who did the tour took us through all of the details of many area families, especially the whole tale of the Mark Twain connection to the region.

I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge ‘know the backstory of the person behind the art’ person like seems to be so popular today, so I never dug into the Twain connection – just assumed it was a ‘George Washington Slept Here’ thing. But it was not. He was buried here for a reason.

But sadly at some point between Christmas and New Year someone removed the likeness from his gravestone. It is noted in the local paper, where they say:

“Somebody had to bring in a ladder,” Hare said. “There has been vandalism in the cemetery over the years, but there has never been any at the Twain site, which is a revered site. Desecration of any grave is a horrible thing for people to do.”

This is a pretty sad thing – awful for someone to have done in general, and also because as towns and cities are continuously squeezed to do more with less money, things like graveyard maintenance fall to the bottom of the priority list. And to have one of our country’s great authors grave site defaced like this is a shame.

The only good news is that there was a cast made of the original plaque which could be used to create a new one.

3. Tales of Former Fatties

Over at Buzzfeed a couple of weeks ago there was a video about ‘what it is like to be a former fat kid’.

As a former (recovering?) fat kid, I certainly can identify with many of the things the people list. But as we have discussed here before, we could change it around to say ‘what it is like to be an adult who was body shamed as a kid’ … because that crap hurts whatever reason it happened.

4. Feats of Dog Standing

So Sarah Palin posted a picture of her 6+ year old standing on their dog. It sparked some outrage, including from PETA. Palin replied … well, I just posted the whole thing below. But one thing she DID note was Ellen Degeneres posting a picture of a small child (2 or 3 years old) standing on a dog.

Her point? Hypocrisy, of course … and the assumption that her frothing supporters would be so quick to be outraged and butthurt that they wouldn’t even contemplate comparative analysis regarding the size/weight ratios of the children and animals (I mean, they DO watch Fox News, so facts are obvious not a priority).

Anyway, I don’t recall the Ellen pic, but we were very clear about the safety of children and animals in our house … so, no dog standing.

ANYWAY … forget the factual discussion, read Palin’s missive and just LAVISH in the crazy as it washes over you …

Dear PETA,
Chill. At least Trig didn’t eat the dog.

Hey, by the way, remember your “Woman of the Year”, Ellen DeGeneres? Did you get all wee-wee’d up when she posted this sweet picture? http://conservatives4palin.com/… Hypocritical, much?

Did you go as crazy when your heroic Man-of-Your-Lifetime, Barack Obama, revealed he actually enjoyed eating dead dog meat?

Aren’t you the double-standard radicals always opposing Alaska’s Iditarod – the Last Great Race honoring dogs who are born to run in wide open spaces, while some of your pets “thrive” in a concrete jungle where they’re allowed outdoors to breathe and pee maybe once a day? (http://iditarod.com/ http://www.irondog.org/)

Aren’t you the same herd that opposes our commercial fishing jobs, claiming I encourage slaying and consuming wild, organic healthy protein sources called “fish”? (I do.)
Aren’t you the same anti-beef screamers blogging hate from your comfy leather office chairs, wrapped in your fashionable leather belts above your kickin’ new leather pumps you bought because your celebrity idols (who sport fur and crocodile purses) grinned in a tabloid wearing the exact same Louboutins exiting sleek cowhide covered limo seats on their way to some liberal fundraiser shindig at some sushi bar that features poor dead smelly roe (that I used to strip from our Bristol Bay-caught fish, and in a Dillingham cannery I packed those castoff fish eggs for you while laughing with co-workers about the suckers paying absurdly high prices to party with the throw away parts of our wild seafood)? I believe you call those discarded funky eggs “caviar”.

Yeah, you’re real credible on this, PETA. A shame, because I’ll bet we agree on what I hope is the true meaning of your mission – respecting God’s creation and critters.

Our pets, including Trig’s best buddy Jill Hadassah, are loved, spoiled and cared for more than some people care for their fellow man whose politics may not mesh with nonsensical liberally failed ways or don’t fit your flighty standards.

Jill is a precious part of our world. So is Trig.

– Sarah Palin

5. Interesting Findings from 2014


Being a statistics dude and engineer means that I love having loads of data to gather and play with and am always looking for cool new ways to visualize that data. This week I came across a summary of a number of things from 2014 at the Pew Research site.

The image above compares median income of kids 25 – 32 (sorry, ‘adults’) who have a 4-year college degree with those with a 2-year degree or just a high school diploma – and the results show a greater disparity than ever. Recently there has been much discussion about the value of a college degree – but that is largely in the context of the staggering debt incurred by more and more college students.

As a parent sending one child off in a few months to what was ranked the #2 Most Expensive Undergraduate School, and another heading to college next year … this stuff really hits home for me.

Bonus. Warm Hands, Happy Runner

After a relatively mild pre-Christmas to post-New Year we have gone straight back to last years Polar Vortex it seems, with high winds and a display of the ‘many ways to get to sub-zero wind chills’. But of course I still go out for my runs – and the awesome news is that the Brooks 3-in-1 gloves my boys got me for Christmas are the absolute best things I have EVER (in nearly 26 years) worn on my hands. Each year I enter in fear of frost-bite, but now I can leave the house with confidence of returning with all appendages intact.

So … how are YOU? And how’s Winter treating you?

*** Yeah, Jump Around … like THIS: