Friday, September 23, 2011

Riding With Simone To School

Simone and I rode to school today.
Yup, she's in kindergarten at the big Waldorf school, it's her second full week.
We woke up this morning, had breakfast (hens in pens), dressed up nice and warm, hopped on our bike and road the 6 miles or so to school. It was super foggy in parts - I meant to take a photo of some trees in the fog, but I wanted to be to sure to get to school on time.
We got there in plenty of time, being the second kid in the class to walk in.
Simone peeled off her many layers, kissed me goodbye and she was off.
It felt great to ride her to school, and I hope to do it a few more times before the rain sets in.
I took a slightly longer way home, riding along Walnut/53rd, and I did take the time to snap a photo of the sun shining through the oak trees. I was on a bit of a hill here, and was just barely out of the fog, about 2 minutes later I was back in the thick of things.
I do love the fall weather - let's hope it sticks around for a while longer.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

If Only "The Onion" Reported Real News...

I didn't read/follow much of the 9/11 navel-gazing that happened, but I saw that The Onion wrote a piece and thought I'd check it out. It's worth a read (it's really more sad/ironic than funny).

U.S. Commemorates 9/11 By Toasting Stable Afghan Government From Top Of Freedom Tower | The Onion - America's Finest News Source
NEW YORK—In a moving and beautiful ceremony held atop Lower Manhattan's gleaming, 120-story-tall Freedom Tower, the nation commemorated the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by raising a glass to the stable democracy of Afghanistan and to a decade of unprecedented peace and prosperity across the globe.

Monday, September 05, 2011

A sobering/depressing read

Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult:
"If Republicans have perfected a new form of politics that is successful electorally at the same time that it unleashes major policy disasters, it means twilight both for the democratic process and America's status as the world's leading power."
He heaps a lot of blame on the Republicans and (more or less) discounts the Democrats as incompetent. I think I'd disagree with that statement about the Democrats - I think they're basically in cahoots with the Republicans. This isn't Gilligan's Island, the Dems are professional politicians - they know what they're doing, they know who butters their bread - it's the same as who butters the GOP's bread - large corporate interests...

I do have half a mind to take Mary up on her occasional, "we should move to another country..." thought.

Wouldn't that shock people.

Farm to Farm - a ride for me

Mary noticed a bike ride coming up, the Farm to Farm.  It totally has my name written all over it.  A ride through the countryside, with 4 stops along the way at farms with fresh food, ending with a meal made from the ingredients from the farms.  Woo-hoo!

I'm in.  Anyone else?

Studying Obesity

(From the archives, a post started in January 2011 but never finished)

Today I saw two articles. The first was in our Friday paper: "OSU wins $5 million grant for rural childhood obesity research", and the second was a blog post "The American Fast Food Syndrome". Oh, and I heard a story on the radio last night, "Overburdened Food Banks Can't Say No To Junk."

It got me to thinking about obesity again, and wondering how much money will we throw at studying this problem and how much time (lives) will we waste?

The OSU research has a goal of "improv[ing] the fitness level and reduce the body mass index of rural children, ages 5 to 8." That's a great goal, and you do need specific goals in order to win research money. Which are you more likely to give money to, a study with the goal, "make people happier" or one whose goal is "decrease incidence of days of depression in 20-25 year olds"?

We, in the U.S., seem to like to research the hell out of things and not do anything about it. How many diet/lifestyle studies do we need to do?

It's clear that if we feed ourselves too much food, and crummy food at that, we're going to get fat.  The government heavily subsidizes corn/soy/wheat/sugar and that gets turned into cheap junk food.

Biking and a Hike

We found a trail-a-bike (tag-a-long) on Craig's List yesterday and I picked it up today.  We should have gotten one in the beginning of the summer...  oh well.

We hooked it up and Simone and I went riding off into the summer day.  She had a blast, and so did I.  Simone  felt very confident on the bike (after the initial 30 seconds of "I'm tired"), and about half way into our ride she was pedaling enough that I could feel the help.  I'd occasionally stop pedaling (on request) so she could be the one to make us go, and I'd do all the steering.

We went through Avery park, to Noah's house (he wasn't there), and then on to Bohdie's (he was, we chatted for a few minutes), and then we came back through Avery park to see the big train engine there.  All in all, we covered nearly 8 miles, and Simone would have easily gone another 4 (she was asking to go further).

Instead we came home to connect with Mary, who was hanging out at home recovering from her first half-marathon.  Yay Mary!  She did it with Tracy (Bohdie's mother), so the papas and the kids rolled down a little later to catch the mamas as they crossed the finish line.  Tracy finished 49th out of the 1000 - running way fast (about 1h45m).  Simone and I walked them back to their car and made it back to the finish line a few minutes before Mary crossed - so we cheered her on.

Anyway, we came home from the bike ride to tell Mary all about it, and then headed out to Alsea Falls for a little hike and to cool our feed in the water.  We rarely go out there, and I don't know why - it's lovely.  We crossed over the creek and headed down the trail to where it got a little slippery.  But we made it down to the water and hung out in the bottom of the gorge on big rocks, wading in the water, feeling as though we had the entire forest to ourselves.

A wonderful labor day to finish a great weekend.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

It Begins

Today was my first meeting at Weight Watchers.  I weighed in at 263.8 pounds (socks, shorts, t-shirt), and I've got my goals set.

The leader (Sandy) is energetic and pretty entertaining (though she reminds me a little bit of my mom...)

Here's to reaching some new goals and staying there.  The medium-term goal is 235 pounds, but first I've gotta lose 5 pounds (you get a gold star! - it's just like kindergarten)...