Saturday, October 31, 2020

Halloween ...

 I would wish everyone a happy Halloween but ... it's 2020 so:

Halloween Everyone!!!

Also, enjoy the Blue Moon tonight (Spoiler Alert: It's not actually blue).

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Happy Birthday To My Wonderful Wife!

A song for the Wife on her birthday: 
"I Love You"
by Climax Blues Band

Thank you for coming into my life.  

Happy Birthday!!!

Monday, October 05, 2020

We Have Done Our Duty ... Now It's Your Turn

This may actually be the most important election of my (and your) life if not for the entire nation as a whole.  We can not stand another four years of what we have been going through.

I dropped the our ballots in the election dropbox this afternoon.  The Wife and I have done our part.  Now comes the checking of the Nebraska Voter website to ensure our ballots have been accepted.  No leaving it to chance this year.  There is too much at stake.

Usually I ask you to vote no matter who you vote for.  This year I want you to vote the straight Democratic ticket.  The Republicans have shown us their true colors over the past three years and we have to vote the bums out.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Fever ... In The Morning ... Aching All Through The Day ...

 Sunday night I was exhausted for no real reason and had the chills.

Monday I was achy and had a headache and a temperature of 102℉.  I didn't have the cough, breathing issues, or taste and smell loss typical of COVID-19.

Tuesday I felt worse physically than on Monday but I no longer had a fever.  The Wife stayed home from work out of an abundance of caution.  I took two Covid tests - the first being the free Nebraska COVID-19 test that takes three to give days for result and the second was a rapid test.  The rapid test came back negative so no COVID-19 for me.

Wednesday the Wife went back to work but I still feel crappy with body aches and lack of energy.  My fever appears to have lasted only twenty-four hours.

I have no idea where I got what I got.  I've only gone out when I was good shopping and I always have a mask on.  Somewhere along the way a flu virus, or some other bug, managed to get by my defenses.  In 2020, any sign of illness takes on whole new dimensions.

Be careful out there ... and get a Flu shot.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

A Year After

 A year ago today I left Imp Shelter and Campsite and hiked off the Appalachian Trail (AT) for the last time.  While I have physically been off the trail for a year part of me is still on the trail.

After my diabetes diagnosis last spring I began walking again hoping diet and exercise would help (they have so far).  On those walks my mind inevitably wanders back to the AT and I begin second guessing all the decisions I made on the trail.  What if?  What if? What if?  It makes it hard for me to enjoy my walks.  

Sunset approaching along the AT.
  Maybe if I put it down in a post I can find a way to move forward.

  • I should have started earlier.  Even a week earlier may have made a difference in the long run.  I would have reached Damascus, VA around the time for Trail Days.  I could have experienced this spectacle and it would have placed me, at least for a time, in the Damascus Bubble of hikers leaving the town en masse.  The extra people would have made the hike a more social and less lonely experience.
  • I should have continued my food discipline north of Harper's Ferry, WV.  Food discipline while I'm on long hikes is an issue I first experienced on the Camino de Santiago.  In the southern part of the AT I did pretty good eating most of my packed food.  North of Harper's Ferry I began getting lazy.  I didn't eat all my food and I often was too lazy to boil water for my dehydrated meals in the evening.  Several stages I added an extra day while I was on the trail which often forced me to eat four days worth of food over five days.  Poor food discipline may have contributed to my body not recovering near the end.
  • I was too fixated on staying in shelters.  I don't remember how many times I put up my tent but I think it was around fourteen times over my one hundred seventy-seven days on the AT.  I would often stop at a shelter early in the afternoon because the next shelter was too far to reach before dark.  What I should have done is stop at the shelter, eat some food, and take a nap before continuing down the trail, stopping a few hours later in a place where I could put up my tent.  I think this would have added two to five miles onto my day thus getting me that much farther down the trail.  This was especially true during the summer when the days were long and daylight was plentiful.
It's this last point that would have made the most difference I think.  Even If I averaged one mile extra per day I would have been over one hundred fifty miles ahead of where I was.  Having an extra couple of weeks might have made the difference.  The only downside is that the trail might have been even more lonely than it was.  *sigh* What if …?

For those who are wondering, I do not have the desire to go back and finish it.  When I made the decision last April it was final.  I just wish I could find a way to get Little Hill out of my head and move on.  Maybe this post will help Little Hill finally get some rest.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Autumn Equinox

We reach this autumnal equinox shrouded by the passing of the Notorious RBG and an election struggling under the weight of a manufactured crisis.

If only …
May we all survive the changing of the seasons during this unending, and exceedingly cruel, year.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Another Year Of 'Winning'

 I forgot to post about 9-11 last year.  I know I was distracted by the Appalachian Trail but I should have remembered.  Forgetfulness is often our downfall.

It has been nineteen years since the towers came down and Bin Laden's victory continues.  America has been in the grip of terror and even the hopeful Obama presidency wasn't able to break the downward spiral of our Democratic Experiment.  If anything the hopefulness only brought out the ugliness once hidden in the shadows.

We are less than a month and a half from the American elections and all I feel is a confused knot of hope and dread.  Which path will our country take?  Does it really matter?  I can't forget the fact that thirty to forty percent supports the President and his sycophants.  They will not go away after the elections ... no matter what the results are.

The towers fell nineteen years ago and the chain reaction that began goes on and on.  It didn't start the corruption of our Democracy but it did act as an accelerant for its downfall.  Now, since the beginning of the year, Covid-19 has claimed American lives equivalent to sixty-four 9-11s. Another 9-11s worth lose their lives every two and a half days.  When will it all end?

Thursday, August 27, 2020

And The Results Are ...

Since the Wife started in-person teaching last week we decided that we should be periodically tested for COVID-19.  On Saturday I visited TestNebraska and, after completing a few easy questions I was asked if I wanted a test.

On Monday I visited the local (decrepit) mall and, entering the now defunct Sears auto garage, had a swab stuffed up my nostrils.  When they say your eyes may water and you may cough they aren't joking.  I guess your eyes water and you cough when they tickle your brain with a cotton swab.

Today I received the results from the Monday test (a three day turnaround) and they are:

"You have tested NEGATIVE for coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19." 

Good news I guess but it is only a snapshot in time.  Since the test I've been to Sam's Club and Walmart and the Wife has been to school four times - all possible infection events.

In a couple weeks I'll probably go do it all again.  Until then, Woo Hoo I'm Negative!

Friday, August 21, 2020

The Return Of An Annual Traveller

Monarch butterflies migrate through Eastern Nebraska.  They tend to move through our area in late August - Early September.  Over the years Monarch Butterfly populations have been declining.  The Wife, in an attempt to help the Monarchs, went on a milkweed quest earlier this summer and she planted some in our backyard.  Milkweed is special as Monarch Butterflies only lay their eggs on milkweed.  This week, as I was mowing, I noticed this:

Monarch Caterpillar on milkweed. 

I hope it finds a safe place to cocoon so we can have one more butterfly in the world.

Saturday, August 01, 2020

A Week Later ... And An Almost Tragic Bunny Tale

It's been a week since Iago left us and it is strangely silent in our house.  I can't go into the kitchen without checking to see if he has water in his bowl even though the bowl has been gone for a week.  At 6 am and 5 pm I have to check myself since I no longer need to feed him.

Iago's paw print ... full of love.

I am sure he is still with us in spirit ... he is definitely here in hair.  The vacuum canister was half full with black dog hair when I cleaned this week.  It will diminish over the next couple weeks as the last vestiges of Iago are sucked out of the carpet.

Along with the mourning of Iago's passing there was some bunny drama this week.  If you follow me on Twitter you have already heard but for those who don't, here is the story.  We have rabbits in our backyard.  This year they started digging holes in the grass.  After chasing them away a few times I made a pile of stones on the deck that I could throw at them to get them to quit.  This week I saw a rabbit digging in a hole.  I went out on the deck and threw a stone and missed it by about a foot.  It didn't budge.  I grabbed a second stone and threw it.  I didn't think I was a good throw and I expected to hit it on its back but to my horror I hit the rabbit square on the head.  I could hear the stone thunking it's poor little bunny skull.  The rabbit staggered around a bit and laid down.  It's head slowly went back until it was staring straight up.  I think at this point it went unconscious.  A few minutes later it lowered it's head and just sat there.  After about fifteen minutes I went down the stairs and, seeing me, it hopped off into the bushes.  I felt very relieved.

I don't think I could ever hit a rabbit's head at 20 - 25 feet like I did.  Heck, when I toss the remote to the Wife less than ten feet away I usually miss by three feet.  But, if I see another rabbit digging ... I will try to be less accurate as my heart wouldn't be able to take it really.