Happy Wednesday! This week has been interesting so far, and tomorrow I am off for Christopher’s 16th birthday party! As I started writing this we had our first morning above 20F in a long time, with further warm-ups expected in the coming days. Today the morning was chillier – 18F as shown – but the air FELT warmer as the warming trend continues. As a result my hat and gloves were off for the last mile … wonderful!
1. Keeping up with blogs
OK, before I get started with anything else, I am starting to get overloaded with feeds – for the longest time everything I followed (tech, music, games mostly) were handled in RSS feeds through Google Reader.
Now as I am following so many fellow bloggers, I find my RSS (Feedly) expanding, daily ‘BlogLovin’ feeds expanding, emails for new blog posts … and others I STILL miss until I manually visit … I just have to ask:
How do YOU manage all of your blog feeds?
2. Days off
I just took two days off this week, which was not really my plan. On the one hand at least one rest day was a good idea because I was starting to build a ‘mini streak’ over the last few weeks, and had taken less than 5 days off so far this year.
So what happened? When I was out Sunday, running my ‘airport loop’ but in the reverse direction I normally run, I came across my nemesis – a guy 25-35 in a pickup truck who feels the need to edge me off the road.
This happens – even on clear and bright days with great visibility and light traffic – because people are morons. But what was different today was as I edged to the left into the heavier snow, I didn’t realise there was a 3′ runoff drop – because the top surface was flat!
I didn’t fall, or really stumble, but that quick drop jarred me a bit – which I discovered the next morning waking up and moving around and feeling tightness and dull ache in the muscles in my back. The next day I was up at 4AM and feeling better but still a little tight – and since we had an inch of new snow I decided to not take a chance with slipping and aggravating my back.
This morning I headed out for a normal run and enjoyed the warm-up … not at 100%, but much better. It is a reminder of how easy it is for things to happen while you are out on a run – and also why I am so opinionated about maintaining maximum safety and awareness.
3. (Un)comfortable Conversations
There is nothing worse than being in the middle of telling a story to someone when you can tell that they are just waiting to tell you THEIR story, and are really not listening. I had this happen to me today and basically took the final 50% of the story (that they asked about) and turned it into ‘stuff happened, the end’. And as I finished they were already into their story …
Later in the day I was having a conversation with a person who I worked with on an earlier project and needed some information. After that we were talking about winter, kids, etc. The thing that struck me was the natural flow of conversation – you don’t monopolize too long, you show interest and ask follow-ups, and you try to balance both sides of the discussion.
Honestly I was left wondering WHY the person asked me a question when 20 seconds into my answer they had moved on. (and it wasn’t a perfunctory ‘how are you doing’ question). I would rather they just walked away or something …
4. Peanut Butter!
One of my favorite recovery foods is a peanut butter chocolate ‘fudge’ that I cover and freeze, and can grab a spoonful that is satisfying after a long run.
But imagine having peanut butter at every meal? That is what a new post over at Buzzfeed looks at in detail – with a huge list of peanut butter based meals that will take you from breakfast through midnight snack.
5. Imagine a World …
Lisa came across this short movie on Facebook, and while it is a bit far-fetched and cliched, there is a well-done sense of raw emotion watching things we all take for granted turned upside down … bullying and teen suicide are not exactly light topics, I know. Worth the 20 minutes.
6. “Are we gonna see power laces in 2015? To that, I say YES!”
This comes from a Nike designer who commented at Sole Collector that power laces from Back to the Future II will be here in the next couple of years. I love my Lock Laces … but sign me up NOW!
7. Is there anything better …
This morning I got up after my two rest days and headed out – there was definitely still a bit of tightness in my back but nothing I couldn’t get out through stretching.
But my entire body just screamed with DELIGHT as I got going, and I had tremendous spring in my stride. As I mentioned the air was warmer than the temperature indicated, and so I was able to truly free my mind to think about everything and nothing. I ended up running about 9.25 miles, and it was exhilarating.
8. A degree is not a degree
We already know a ‘calorie is not a calorie’, meaning that it matters WHERE we get our calories … but it is worth noting just how much ELSE matters to that number on the thermometer. Today was 18F with 40s on the way, so it felt warmer. The other day was about the same but with COLD on the way … so it felt chillier. Add wind and moisture and you get a different feel than dry and calm. And the same is true in the heat – there is much more than just one number to consider.
9. 11 Random Facts About Me – with so many of the Q&A posts for people lately including ‘random facts’, I decided to do it as well. Here goes …
1. I really don’t care about cars beyond basic transport – if someone gave me $100,000 to spend on a car, I would want a Prius C for work commute, Ford C-Max for Lisa / family, and Highlander Hybrid for the boys to drive and carting stuff around instead of one super-car.
2. Before taking up guitar at 9, I tried to sign up for both violin and drums, but my parents shot those down due to cost.
3. I was always told that engineers and technical people should prefer PC’s and Linux … but I prefer Apple products. I built my share of PCs and compiled enough kernels – I really just want stuff to get out of my way and work at this point.
4. My ‘star struck’ moment was riding an elevator in Cambridge with jazz guitarist John Scofield. He is a legend now, but at the time was just joining Miles’ band, but I was a high school kid and his ‘Shinola’ album was one of my faves.
5. My favorite author is Kurt Vonnegut, and I still find new things every time I re-read his stuff. I got to see him speak at Bridgewater State College in 1983, and he just hung around and chatter for quite a while afterwards. I got to talk for a few minutes and still have my signed copy of Cat’s Cradle.
6. I don’t think that I have been in a part of the country that I didn’t love one way or another. I didn’t think much of Morgantown, West Virginia when I traveled there for work … but the people I met were genuine and really nice. But ultimately, even though I love Florida and the Northwest and Bay Area and Nebraska … I am and will always be a Northeast boy – and would love to be back in the Boston area once again.
7. I am not very competitive – I have confidence in my abilities and strive to do my best and drive value for my companies … but I have always been comfortable with the reality that there are people smarter/better than me, and that I am smarter/better than others. It makes me cringe seeing people who will do *anything* to claim the #1 spot, including screwing over others and intellectual dishonesty.
8. My hearing and eyesight are very good. So I can hear the washer finish ‘beep’ downstairs across the house with the TV going … and no one else can hear it even if I mute the TV sound. I really appreciated my hearing after taking my younger son to see Skrillex just over a year ago … It was SO loud and we were so close that my hearing was messed up all week long! As for sight … well, I wish that ONE of my boys had gotten my sight, but no – glasses all-around! 🙂
9. In high school I was voted ‘most sophisticated’, due to my depth of knowledge of music and books that very few people knew about. In retrospect the title could have been ‘elitist’, but whatever. My music tastes remain esoteric and eclectic, but books I range much broader. I have never considered myself ‘highbrow’ in my TV or movie tastes … but in the era of ‘Hangover’ and reality TV maybe I should reconsider.
10. The majority of fashion and hair styles from my life would look fine today (once I got past the polyester stuff my mother bought when I was little). Polo shirts, button downs, khakis, loafers, etc. I look at high school pictures of myself and the clothes are basically the same as you would find in stores now. Of course, that also means I have never been on the cutting edge of fashion … and I am just fine with that!
11. I used to love watches, but haven’t worn one since getting a smartphone back in 2008. I’d had cellphones for more than 15 years already, and had a non-phone Blackberry for quite a while … but getting a smartphone changed things considerably. My entire jewelry wearing is my wedding ring and the claddagh ring Lisa gave me after our younger son was born.
Last thing – tomorrow is my younger son’s 16th birthday, and we’re having a formal high tea for the party. Unfortunately some of his friends are away because it is school vacation, but it will still be a blast!
And that is all for now … what is wandering through YOUR mind this Wednesday?!?