Friday, March 5, 2021

What I Saw On My Walk Today... A Truffula Tree

“And will you succeed? Yes indeed, yes indeed!
Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed!”
– Dr. Seuss

Man, all this talk about cancelling Dr. Seuss got me thinking about how many posts I did parodying the good doc...

Oh, The Weight You Will Lose

The Beetches

The Cat in the Fat

Lean Legs and Ass

Sh*twick the Big-Bottomed Goof

Oh, The Changes You Can Change

How The Binge Stole Fit-Mas

The Lardass

Jax in Slacks

If I Ran the Store

Those are some of my fav posts...

Yes, I got my five-mile walk in. Yes, I'm still doing okay on my diet. Geez, give it a rest, will ya?

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

What I Saw On My Walk Today... A GIANT GLOWING ORB IN THE SKY!

“Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time,
but it ain't going away.”
 Elvis Presley

After a week of snowy madness, things are finally getting back to normal. Now that the streets are cleared, I’m not stuck at home because of the weather (I’m stuck at home because of a pandemic). 

I got kind of excited when I jump-started this blog, and every time I was out on one of my long, long hikes, I saw things that spurred my imagination and got my train of thought chug-chug-chugging. I thought to myself, “I could just pick one thing I see each day and riff about it.” 

It’s not as entertaining as I imagined it would be, but… honestly… there isn’t much that’s all that entertaining about this heathy living nonsense. It’s mostly just trying to be a little more active each day, try to eat a little better each day, try not to drink an entire bottle of wine each day. Rinse, lather, repeat.

I’m down 50 lbs (or maybe a little more) since those early, snacky days of working from home. I’m not as fixated on the number on the scale as I used to be; I’m more interested in lacing up my sneaks and pounding out five miles (or more). 

I’m gonna keep walking and keep keeping my eye out for anything interesting I can share with you.

But today the sun is in my eyes…

Sunday, February 21, 2021

What I Saw On My Walk Today... More of the Same

"Not that I have anything much against redundancy.
But I said that already."

– Larry Wall

I should probably cut and paste my last post, because – due to eight to ten inches of snow we got this week – I haven’t been varying up my daily five-mile walks.

There’s a little-used road near my house that runs along the railroad track. Since nobody shovels sidewalks down South (this is our first significant snowfall in forever), I’ve been making my hike along the same road, down a couple miles to the end of it, tap the STOP sign and then turn around and hot-foot it back the way from whence I came.

It’s beautiful scenery, to be sure, but it doesn’t make for much variety or provide anything to spark my imagination in order to set my train of thought running in a new direction.

But Spring is just around the corner.

Unless I slip and fall on some ice.



Wednesday, February 17, 2021

What I Saw On My Walk Today... A Good Reason Not to Walk

“Winter passes and one
 remembers one’s perseverance.”
–Yoko Ono

“Are you crazy?” asked my wife Anita as I started putting on… well, basically every piece of clothing I own.

The day’s previous snowstorm (seven inches and counting) had led to me breaking my month’s long streak of five-mile daily walks.

Today I pulled on two pairs of socks, three pairs of pants, shirts, sweaters – I mean it, everything in my closet. I strapped on my heavy, heavy hiking boots and plowed my way down the driveway. 

“Is this a mistake or a bad idea?” I considered, checking my phone’s weather app and seeing a single-digit temp staring back at me.

The air was brisk and bracing. The cold was penetrating and cruel. The wind was biting and bitter.

But I had my will buckled down and my body bundled up.

I had planned on just shooting for half my regular walk, but I caught my groove and just kept pushing along. I generally see joggers, stroller pushers, dog walkers, yard workers and others along the way, but today it was just me and my lonesome. Just me making my way slowly but surely through the falling snowflakes.

No sane person would be out walking today.

That’s me. 

Monday, February 15, 2021

What I Saw On My Walk Today... Luck

 “We are all a great deal luckier that we realize,
we usually get what we want – or near enough.”
Roald Dahl

Because I’ve been doing a daily five-mile hike for the past few months and have lost a little weight as a result, I bent down and picked up this penny today.

It got me thinking about luck. Oh, 2020 was a sh*t-show, to be sure, but I contemplated how lucky I’ve been to be able to work from home and dedicate a little time each day to my daily walking stint. I know there are so, so many folks who’ve had a much worse time of it.

When I look back on the past year, I think I’ll consider it a lucky, lucky time. My family’s been safe and sane (well, safe anyway…) and I got to spend a lot of extra time with my 80-year-old parents. 

Somebody smarter than me once said that the best luck we can hope for is to have the ability and determination to overcome bad luck. 

I feel lucky today.

And a penny richer.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

What I Saw On My Walk Today... A Focus on the Wrong Goal

"The sign says do not enter, no trespassing allowed.
With visions of redemption, I walk against the crowd."
–Melissa Etheridge

I get it.

You want to discourage fools from trespassing on your property, but more than anything else, you want to stop them from stealing your NO TRESPASSING sign. I mean – obviously – that was the first reaction I had when I walked by this sweet-ass sign on my daily five-mile walk. “My anniversary is coming up, and Anita would simply swoon if I gave her this beauty as a gift!”

That’s kind of how I got with my health goals, to be honest. I was so focused on the end result that I lost sight of the overall purpose. Six months ago, I woke up each morning in pain and feeling like crap-on-a-stick. My weight had taken an unsettling spike during the early months of the pandemic – two months into my working-from-home stint, I had packed on a Covid nineteen (or more).

That’s when I decided to lace up my sneaks and get my stride on. Today, I’m usually getting in between 12,000 and 15,000 steps every 24 hours. Sometimes I even slog (slow jog) a little, but mostly it’s just one foot in front of the other, over and over and over.

Of course, my weight started coming down. Of course, those morning aches and pains have seemed to fade away. Of course, I’m feeling healthier and have higher spirits.

Could things be better?

Well, I could have a cool NO TRESPASSING sign, but then I’d have to figure out some way to keep it safe…

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

What I Saw On My Walk Today... Persistence


"Success is the sum of small efforts,
repeated day in and day out."

– Robert Collier 

I am eating a whale.

Last March, this humungous limb fell in my side yard. It was larger than many of the trees on our property. We had a tree guy come out and he quoted a price of $800 to get rid of it.

About that time, my gym shut down due to the pandemic. So, lacking access to my regular fitness equipment, I grabbed a little bow saw from my shed and started whittling away on the smaller branches and off-shoots and hauling them down to the street.

The thing about a big project like that is that it seems so daunting, overwhelming, impossible. And so very time-consuming.

Every day you do a little more, and the progress looks minimal. It seems like a complete waste of time. So much effort, not much noticeable result.

But I kept at it. Day after day, I kept sawing.

How do you eat a whale?

One bite at a time.

I sawed and sawed, and a month or so later, I’d cleaned out all the smaller branches.

I sawed and sawed, and six weeks later got rid of the mid-sized branches.

I sawed and sawed, eventually getting a larger, heavier bow saw to tackle the big stuff that’s left.

I’m still sawing.

I’m still hungry.

Whale, anyone?

Monday, February 8, 2021

What I Saw On My Walk Today... The Easy Path Denied


“I'll never take the easy way out.”
– Colin Kaepernick

Today, my daily five-mile hike took me through the grounds of my old high school.

That room up there, one of the ones with the windows blocked in, that was where I took TYPING class (I know, I know… I’m old AF).

Let me back up a minute:  when I was a little Sh*t, my mother worked parttime at home typing up court depositions for a law firm. She had a rockin’ IBM Selectric typewriter that I  got to fool around with when I was a wee little child. 

Years later, I signed up for Typing in high school as a clear path to a stupid easy A; you see, I was typing 130 words a minute at that point.

Remember those blocked-in windows? Well, that spring, the school began installing air conditioning in the building (I know… did I grow up in “Little House on the Prairie” times?), so they blocked in the windows first. Unfortunately, there was a six-week lag between sealing the wall and installing the new cooling system… and it was an unseasonably hot Spring. 

So, there I sit in a stiflingly hot room preparing to take our very first speed test. 

“Go!” declared the teacher, hitting her stopwatch.

I was chatting nonchalantly with the person sitting next to me, my fingers flying all over the keyboard. I was in the zone, intent on breaking the world speed record for beginning typists. 

Then I looked in horror at the sheet of paper on the roller…


Not a mark. 

Besides being the last semester of an un-air-conditioned classroom, this was also the final semester of students learning to type on manual typewriters. 

Manual. F’n. Typewriters.

I had to basically relearn how to type, jabbing at the keyboard in a sweaty fury in order to squeak out a passing grade.

There’s a lesson to be learned here, I think. Something about how the easy path isn’t always the best one. 

Or maybe it’s about closely studying the syllabus before signing up for a class…

Thursday, February 4, 2021

What I Saw On My Walk Today... Kindness

“No act of kindness,
no matter how small,
 is ever wasted."
– Aesop

Maybe it’s an illustration of how foreign the concept of kindness to strangers is to me that I saw the drinks resting on top of a garbage can and thought, “Why is this fool throwing away perfectly good Gatorade?”

I quickly realized my mistake – I may not be the coldest Fresca in the fridge, but I’m not a complete dummy – and spent a good portion of the rest of my daily five-mile hike pondering this act of thoughtfulness. 

I contemplated the daily grind of those hard-working sanitation laborers – the monotony and drudgery and physical toil it must take – and how a simple gesture like that would surely be appreciated. 

It’s nice to be thanked for a thankless job.

I’m hard at work on my own kindness project these days, trying to manage my diet and walk my way to a longer life filled with better health, but it wasn’t lost on me that caring and generosity can make someone else’s day brighter while at the same time enriching my own.

Kind of made me feel guilty about snatching the Gatorade… C’MON, I’M WORKING UP A THIRST OVER HERE.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

What I Saw On My Walk Today... Despair


“Oft hope is born when all is forlorn.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

Ever feel like giving up? Lord knows I do, and apparently this mailbox does, too.

I know I’ve been away from this blog for a way-too-long while, but I just wanted to check back in and say that I have spent a little time travelling along that well-worn path that leads to hopelessness and despair, but the good news is that I checked myself soon after wrecking myself… and I’m on my way back.

Last spring – like a lot of folks in these problematic pandemic times – I started working from home. Easy access to snacks and alcohol led to me packing on pounds. When I finally worked up the nerve to step back on a scale, the number (305) was disheartening and disappointing, but not at all surprising.

At my daughter’s suggestion, I took up intermediate fasting – a medieval form of torture that involves not having anything but bitter, bitter black coffee before 10 a.m. and not eating anything - not even a bowl of peanut brittle -  after 6 p.m.  

Mornings were especiallybrutal under this restrictive new plan, so I decided to start going on a long early hike to take my mind off my crippling hunger pangs.

So that’s what I’ve been doing. Every day for the past six months, I lace ‘em up tight and hit the road, Jack. I get in about seven miles a day and – I’m not gonna lie – I’m feeling pretty damn fine. Yesterday, I weighed in at 255, down a solid 50 lbs from whence I began. Not too shabby…

Now that I have a little more hope in my heart and a little more spring in my step, I feel like sharing my journey a little. I’m committed to this daily walk, so I thought I’d let you know what I see while I’m out there putting one foot in front of the other.

Today I saw despair.

Tomorrow I see hope.  


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