Category Archives: daily life

back in running mode on National Running Day

Two years ago, I completed the Rock & Roll marathon in San Diego in just over 4 hrs.  Fast forward to the present, and I’m in a state of recovery, from a year of cancer and its treatments, and 18+ months of on/off plantar fasciitis. But a few days ago I went about 2 miles with my Vibram 5-toe shoes, and today I’ll head out for another few miles in my new low-profile Brooks. My goal is to be running 1/2 marathons in a year, pain and injury free.

I love xkcd’s cartoons, especially on National Running Day.


alternative ways of grouping and describing Americans

A post from somewhere recently (the Atlantic?) keyed me into the work done by John Nelson at IDV User Experience, such as Thiessen polygons of Craig’s Lists boundaries.  Then I wandered onto a similar approach for Massachusett’s Dunkin Donuts regions by PasteInPlace.   Soon the indefatigable Seth Dixon had pointed me towards the US Personality map. Next thing I knew, I was back to John Nelson’s production of the US according to its Google Autocompletes.  (Which reminded me of the Google Making us Dumber site, which I see has become stale, or maybe it was this Oddee list I was remembering.)

Just a few bookmarks after a Sunday night hour of procrastination…

another reason to pay attention in your statistics classes

Media Oversimplifies New Study Linking Alcohol and Breast Cancer.  Cabernet may be the smoking gun, but it may not. Is there anything the media doesn’t over-simplify?  Isn’t that what we pay them to do?

Can the human body’s reactions to what it ingests and what it’s exposed to over its lifetime be linked to its responses with any certainty?  You could spend a bunch of time looking up diseases that you or your neighbor might possibly one day contract, or you could rely on statistics to tell you what’s more likely.  Know what I love about this graphic from the National Safety Council?  That “Total, Any Cause” is still 1 in 1.  Hah, I knew it!  Pass the cabernet.

Like my friend Phil always quotes, “If the brain were so simple that we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldn’t. ”  Emerson Pugh.

roaming children, roaming cats

The LA Times hosted a health chat with Richard Louv last week, known for describing “nature deficit disorder.”  I’m a big fan of his ideas.  It’s an ongoing challenge to keep nature, in all its forms, an active part of the lives of our teenagers.  We’re in the midst of one success story: the 13- and 14-yr-old are hiking for a week with their grandparents, at the Grand Canyon and in southern Utah (Zion NP, and elsewhere).  We didn’t force them to leave their phones here, and my daughter stays remarkably aware of wi-fi zones in the hotels where they stay. But I know that at least their days are spent hiking and phone-free, and this journey with John and Wendy will certainly be a life-long memory for them.  If they just survive the 24-hrs/day they’re spending with each other right now…

And look, even cats know the fun of roaming outdoors.

Stop reading this blog. Go outside and walk around the block, or if you’re lucky, up in the woods.

Thanks, Janet, for the hat tip on Louv’s interview.

stop life for a minute and catch your breath

I’m finding my life a bit overwhelming lately, with way too much happening and too many unanticipated things to manage.  Yet somehow I’ll get through it all, and I’ll survive, literally, and these days too will seem like a blur.

Then what’s left at the end of the day (week, year, life) is fragmented memories that you piece together.  I’ve been watching this video clip on life’s moments that my friend Theresa shared with me.  And listening non-stop to the new album Rome by Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi.   And loving them both.

Mapping and Classifying Your Every Move: Quotidian Habits

The location-enabled form of navel-gazing.  Wear a GPS  for 200 days and then categorize all of your activities.  Someone has a lot of time on their hands…  But from an anthropological perspective, I appreciate the curiosity of it –

Argentina 2, come and gone

Sorry to have left you hanging. We spent our last days in City Bell with extended goodbyes, parties at the children’s school (they were selected as the ones to lower the flag in the end-of-the-day ceremony), marveling at the amount of stuff that we’d accumulated in just 12 weeks, packing it up to give to Mari or return with us, walking around town to see things one last time, and all the while shivering because it had just turned frigid.
Eventually we did indeed make it home to California, all in one piece (or many pieces, of luggage). I have never loved living in Redlands as much as I did last Sunday afternoon, with some friends meeting us at the airport and others waiting for us at home with a lunch to share. It was warm and sunny in every meaning of the words. My most common response to the “How was Argentina?” question is, “Wonderful, with a current of inconveniences running throughout.”
Meanwhile, I can’t believe how quickly our calendars have been filling and how much mail we accumulated. Each day we must try and remember how nice it was to have simplified things for a while. For three months there we managed to go without a car. While we were away, gasoline prices here have soared to $4.35/gallon and they’re pennies higher EVERY DAY. We will change our habits. We must change our habits.
One highlight of the week has been the short phrases and sentences in Spanish that the children have been using. Even the kid who was most resistant to being there from Day 1!
Thanks for reading. This blog is likely to be re-purposed for topics more related to mapping, but I’ll be sure to let you know when the next extended trip will occur. However probably not Argentina 3…