Running on vacation isn’t as much fun as you might think.

We’re spending the week “down the Shore” as they say in Philadelphia, and I’m happy to report that based on people’s behaviors the pandemic is over! Hurrah! Good job, everyone.

Now, I haven’t been in many shops because, as you know, the global pandemic is still raging and I live with two unvaccinated children (I don’t know why they are anti-vaxxers. They keep telling that they are doing their own research and will get vaccinated when they feel like the facts line up. I counter with: 1. You don’t have a computer with which to do research. 2. You can’t read. At this point they usually break something to distract me), however, I have been shocked by the lack of masking in the ones I have ventured into.

I suppose I got spoiled living in a big old blue city (though really, this isn’t political). This does make me appreciate how good Philadelphians, in general, are about masking. I am still baffled by the folks who don’t seem to know that the mask needs to cover your nose, but that’s a different subject entirely.

Whilst here I am continuing to run 4 times a week. As you may know, the pandemic took my already meager supply of interest in exercising and pooped all over it. I bought a bike and signed up with Peloton in hopes that would magically make me want to exercise. It didn’t, though it did show that I like stationary biking even less than I like running.

So, I’ve been running again, and continue to run on vacation. I find, and many other people in a variety of areas concur, that consistency is key. I’m not a great runner, but I am a regular runner.

One of my internal goals has been to always run faster than a 10 minute mile no matter how far I’m running. I’m not sure where I got this idea from; it might stem from high school gym class. You see, I wasn’t a very fit high schooler. I exercised far less than I do now, and I was a very, very poor runner. In fact, over the course of those 4 years of high school I only ran 3 times a year.

How do I know this? Because each year we had to run a timed mile in gym class. If you ran it slower than 15 minutes (I think that was the target, might have been 12), you had to run it again (on another day). In order to “train” for this run we… you guessed it.. ran a little over a mile once earlier in the week of the timed run.

Therefore, I would run about 3 miles a year and always feel bad about myself. Thanks, gym class!

Last night I went for a 4 mile run (I know!) and it wasn’t very good. I know what you’re thinking, “when is a run good?” And I feel you! But this run just plain sucked. The first mile I just barely made it under the 10 minute pace, but the remaining 3 all took more longer than 10 minutes each. Not by a lot, but still!

Given that I’ve been running a lot lately I was a little bummed about this performance until I thought to check the weather. Turns out I was running during an evening with 95% humidity. No wonder it sucked so much, and after learning that I was amazed that I did as well as I did!

I suppose the moral of this story is don’t go on vacation with 2 2 year old toddlers.

A shirt from the other side of the hanger

Photo on 6 1 21 at 1 27 PM

The pandemic hasn't been good for my waist line, like many other folks out there.

I've been snacking more, and moving less... because life has been stressful (at least for those of us who think COVID-19 is a real thing). However, since the pandemic seems to be winding down a bit for those populations in the world who can get vaccinated (and if you can, you should. No, Bill Gates isn't interested in tracking you and this isn't a grand government experiment to limit your freedom. Stop being an idiot.) I am again trying to do the right thing in regards to my health.

Since I'm vaccinated I am comfrotable with running outside again. I tried running with a mask for awhile, but it really, really sucked. So I bought a spinning cycle and used that, but my body just doesn't respond to it the same way. Could be that I just don't push myself hard enough on the bike, but running always seems to work for me when I want to start shedding some pounds.

And so I've been pounding the pavement in Center City.

A few months ago I spent a few hours trying on each and everyone one of my Hawiian shirts as I watched "Head of the Class" on HBO Max, as is tradtional.

This exercise left me with two groups of shirts:

  • Those that fit

  • Those that didn't

I hung them all up, but placed a couple of hangers between them so I would know from which group to grab a shirt in the morning (let me tell you, trying on several shirts before you find one that fits is not a great way to start the morning).

Today, dear reader, I'm wearing a shirt that was formerly in the "Those that didn't" section. Hurrah!

Now, I still have a lot of work to do before all of my shirts can intermingle once more, and I can close my eyes and select a shirt at random (my prefered method of dressing myself) but progress is being made.

Thanks, Pandemic!

My Weight

According to my blog I've cared about my weight for the last 15 years ago, ever since I realized I was 383 pounds and wanted to be... not 383 pounds. The good news is that I've managed to keep about 120 under that for over a decade. Hurrah!

The bad news? Well, if you look at the chart above you can see that over 2020 my weight trended upward (the dotted line is the overall trend-line... which goes down. I included it because it made me feel good and this is my blog. So deal with it!). I've gained about 25 pounds or so over the last year, which is less than ideal.

As I looked into this I wanted to figure out why I might have gained this weight when I've been pretty good about maintaining my weight around 235 pounds or so for awhile. I imagine it might have everything to do with:

  • Global Pandemic Stress
  • Working from home for the last 11 months, with access to all things delicious
  • Worrying about Trump getting re-elected
  • Celebrating Biden getting elected
  • Worrying about armed insurrection

It has been a year, people!

Anyway, I've decided I need to get back on track. This is a little way to hold myself publicly accountable. I've set a goal weight of 230 pounds. I think that's do-able, especially since I'm going to give myself until 2022 to get there. Should be easily doable!

I fell with (and for?) an iPhone 12 Pro Max

The Part in the Recipe you usually skip

When I peel off my disturbingly snug winter tights after a run I usually don’t find pieces of my flesh adhered to them. Thursday night was unusual.

Perhaps I should back up a bit.

I, like many people, have been struggling with healthy habits during the pandemic. There’s a lot going on and sometimes endless treats help. Ok, endless treats ALWAYS help.

That, dear reader, is why I’ve been a member of Weight Watchers for years. And why I’ve been consistently running 4 - 5 times a week. Since I live in the middle of the city it isn’t unusual for me to come across a number of other folks while running. A pre-pandemic mild annoyance transforms into potential danger when all these heavy breathers are shedding virus (a phrase I love) all over the place.

Given my paranoia, I stopped running for a bit and we bought one of them fancy spinning bikes (not that one, this one). I spun exclusively for awhile and it led me on a journey of discovery. I discovered that I have it in me to dislike an exercise even more than I dislike running. I also discovered that Peloton instructors are very fit, very peppy, and very much unlike me.

With winter slowly spreading itself across Philadelphia I figured it would be safe to run after 7pm (post baby bedtime). I figured I wouldn’t run into (ha!) many others on the streets or the river path during the cold, dark night. Turns out I was right, and I’ve adjusted my exercise routine to include both running and spinning.

That’s how I found myself sprawled on the sidewalk in front of an empty church during a chilly early winter Philadelphia evening. Directly before being prone, and slightly moaning, I had been very close to finishing my 3 mile run. I was listening to a podcast and feeling pretty good about myself. I thought to myself, “how far have I gone?” So I took out my brand new iPhone 12 Pro Max to take a peek at Runkeeper.

What a lovely thing that phone is. I opted for “Pacific Blue, ” which I think translates from marketing speak to “kinda blue if you squint in the right light.” Things to love about the phone: Sharp, flat corners and a great camera which almost makes up for the very ugly camera bump. Oh, and the battery life is amazing.

Anyway, I glanced at the completely unshattered screen of my brand new iPhone and saw that I had about 6 minutes left in my run. I didn’t feel like fiddling with my pocket zipper, so I held the iPhone in my hand for the rest of the run.

Up ahead on the dark, cold sidewalk I saw some dude walking down the street. I performed my usual “running in a pandemic” move of swerving as far away from him as possible which lead me to hug the church fence.

What I didn’t notice was the uneven sidewalk ahead of me. I definitely noticed the scrapping sound as my iPhone, hands, and knees skid across the very pebbly sidewalk moments later.

I don’t know if you’ve had a serious fall lately, but it is a rather jarring experience. One moment you’re in complete control of what your body is doing, the next moment you’re hurtling through the air without any time to react in a meaningful way.

The dude I was trying to avoid asked me if I was alright, since he had just seen a rather large man suddenly hit the sidewalk. I glanced at my iPhone and told him I was fine. He walked on.

I stood up and stared at my iPhone. The screen at the lower right corner was pulverized and there was a spiderweb of cracks where before there was but a single sheet of pristine glass.

My running app was still running (ha!) so I couldn’t wallow for too long. I finished my run, which reassured me that I hadn’t broken either of my knees, and then headed home.

Whilst walking home I found out that it is very easy to sign up for Apple Care+ on a brand new iPhone (it covers two instances of accidental damage) which is nice.

Marisa helped assess the damage when I got home. In addition to a broken iPhone I had sacrificed most of the skin on my left knee to the sidewalk, and a good bit of my right knee skin too. My hands had a few cuts, my right elbow was banged up, and I pulled some sort of muscle on my flank. Nothing too serious, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

The iPhone Review Part

But would I recommend the iPhone 12 Pro Max?

If you like big phones I cannot lie: this is a good one. However, if you have a newish phone there’s probably only a few good reasons to update to the 12 Pro Max:

  • If you feel like your current iPhone is slow and you’re eligible for an upgrade, go for it.
  • You want the best camera on an iPhone (the camera is so very good).

Here are some sample images from the camera. Note that I’m not a pro photographer and I’ve done no editing to these pictures (which I’m sure you can tell!). My photographic subjects these days are mostly two 16 month old buys who won’t stand still and random crap in Philadelphia. Not exactly what Apple would pick to highlight the camera, I don’t think.

iPhone 12 Pro Max

It does its best with bouncing babies, but otherwise I think it is does a great job for my needs.

I should note that I had the iPhone 12 Pro Max for about a week, and during the course of that week I took a seemingly unbelievable 438 pictures. I don't know what you should do with that information, but it seems relevant.

That’s really about it, honestly. Battery life is great too, at least it has been for me.

I will say that I’m writing this on my XS Max and this phone, with its rounded sides, feels much better in my hand. The 12 Pro Max looks nicer, though if you’re a case person they’ll both look and feel the same, so what do you care?

There you have it: the iPhone 12 Pro Max (dumb name, by the way) is better than falling down and hurting yourself.



Our washer/dryer combo was out of commission for a couple of weeks, and so I had to make the trek 10 flights up to use the laundry room at the top of our building. This meant that I was in search of quarters on a regular basis. And I found treasure in a glass tiki head (I keep my change in a glass tiki head. Don't you?)!

A 1939 quarter! It isn't worth much since it is in very rough shape (and not from the SF mint), but it is worth more than $.25, so into the washing machine it didn't go

And in light of my last post, it makes me feel a little better about the world in general that this 81 year old coin has made it to my desk somehow.

I have a voting plan

You don’t need me to tell you that lots of people are interested in what’s going to happen after this election cycle.

Here are couple of things you do need to know about me:

  • At one time I considered myself a Republican. I was registered and everything! I was a Rockefeller Republican, socially liberal and fiscally conservative (which today means most Republicans would consider me a socialist).
  • When I realized that the Republican Party was only concerned about the budget when a Democrat was President, and only concerned about keeping the government out of certain aspects of life some people’s lives (I.e. gun owning and being a Christian) I switched to being an Independent.
  • When Donald Trump became the nominee I switched my party to Democrat so I could vote for Hilary in the Primary (and the general election).

This is all to say that I thought Donald Trump was unfit for office before he won, and the last few years have proven it to me.

I have a plan to vote because I worry about what happens if Trump wins, again.

Over the last week I have been called by 6 different voting groups to ask me if I have a plan for voting. I do, so I say yes, which seems to surprise them. Then they say, ok, well... is there one issue you’re most concerned about? To which I reply: the end of civil society and the impending death of democracy.

That either gets silence or a, “Well, that’s a good issue to be concerned about! Thanks!”

Vote! Even if you plan to vote for Trump (though I am honestly dumbfounded by how any reasonable person could vote for Trump, and not because he’s a Republic but because he is so clearly unfit for the job.

I went to a bookstore!

IMG 4253

One thing having kids has taught me (other than kids are gross) is life is much better if you just delight in the little things. Everytime we give Sammy and Declan a sippy cup with water in it they shake it and laugh and laugh. They just love seeing/feeling the water slosh about.

Yesterday I did something I haven't been able to do in months: I went into an actual bookstore and browsed for books (that I didn't need, and yet I bought 4).

It was delightful, though I didn't laugh and laugh because I figured that would have creeped everyone else out.

I look forward to going into a bookstore without a mask and without counting all the customers and comparing that to the number listed on the door as the number of people allowed in at the same time (the actual number was a little higher than the sign said it should be. Tsk, tsk).

Hey, I remember having this blog

I'm still alive, and paying for the blog's hosting. Worry not!

Everything in the world is pretty awful at the moment, but things with our little family are actually pretty good.

No one is sick. We bought the apartment next door to ours that we've been coveting for over a decade, and the boys are only driving us slowly insane.

It is a little odd that I went from thinking I would never want to work from home to doing that for the last 6 months. Now I'm not sure if I want to go back to the office (well, I did like the fact that I could read for an hour during lunch at the office, so there's that).

If anyone is reading this still, let me know how you're doing in the comments!