Slipping on the Ice

I went running on a snowy and icy trail. As the weather is warming up there are patches of pavement showing through. This is more dangerous than the snow itself. You can’t help but run slowly on the snow, but the pavement teases you and encourages you to pick up the pace. I was on my way back of an out and back run – with less than three-quarters of a mile to go – and I cross a road. It was pretty dry and I turned right back on the trail. It appeared to be pavement. My feet slide out from under me as I hit a patch of black ice. I went down hard. The couple of people who saw me asked me if I was all right. I was. It turned out to only be a couple of scrapes, but the impact hurt. I walked the rest of the way back to my car just to make sure everything was okay.

One Banana

How does a single banana wind up on the side of the road. Not a banana peel and not the inside fruit, but a whole, unpeeled banana. Did a kid throw it out the window in protest? Did someone set it on the roof of the car and forget about it? Or did it just fall out of someone’s hand and out the window before they could even peel it? These are the questions that weigh heavily on my mind. It helps to keep the larger questions at bay.

Dystopian Present

We always talk about the dystopian future, but what do you call it when you are living through it? The day that Skynet becomes sentient and takes over is the beginning of the Dystopian Present. In fact, according to the definition – “an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one” – we could be living through it right now.

Doing It 100 Times

By some quirk of fate, 100 days ago I started doing not just one thing every day, but two things. Neither of them were intentional decisions to do it for 100 days straight at the time, and in fact, one of them I just discovered a few days ago. I had been running nearly every day for the past few years, but the streaks of running every day have been few and far between. In early October I started running every day. After more than a month or so, I had an eye on reaching my previous streak of 77 days. Running continued every day toward surpassing that goal and reaching 100 required running on vacation in Belize and in snow and cold this winter. It turns out that these daily posts have also been published every day for the past 100 days. For the first year they were published about 75% of the days, but today’s post is number 100 without interruption. No lessons learned besides just marking time with activity.

Hello CD Listeners

In 1989 Tom Petty released Full Moon Fever. This was still in the transition days from cassettes to CDs. Albums still existed, but they were sliding fast. Mr Petty acknowledged this change with a statement on the CD at the end of side 1 of the album configuration. It was funny to hear it then on a CD, but even funnier to hear it almost 30 years later playing through my Amazon Echo.

Hello CD Listeners

We’ve come to the point in this album where those listening on cassette (or records) will have to stand up (or sit down) and turn over the record (or tape). In fairness to those listeners, we’ll now take a few seconds before we begin side two.

Thank you. Here’s side two.

Written versus Spoken Language

There is an entire generation who uses the word “like” as an interrupt word similar to um and uh. Speakers train themselves to pause instead of using these words. My daughter was saying “like” so many times that I used a counter app to track how many times she said it. But everyone, even geniuses, understands that you don’t use this word in writing. There is no need to write in a pause. And yes, even tweets count as writing.

Jungle Creatures

While snorkeling in Belize I got water in my ears. It took a few days to clear, and I knew that was a signal that something was not right. I also continued to have pressure in my left ear for a week afterwards. When I went to the doctor after returning home, I was told I had wax buildup that had to be removed. It is somewhat ironic that I complained about water in my ears and the first thing they do is flood my ears with water to remove the excess wax. When I saw the solid hunks of wax that came out of both ears I asked the nurse to confirm that it was indeed wax and not a jungle creature that crawled into my ears.

The Last Leaf

The calendar says that it’s winter and so do the bare branches. All the dead leaves have even been cleaned up from the yard. But there is one last leaf still hanging on to a branch. It is dead but it won’t let go. Finally, it drops from the tree and floats down to ground. It doesn’t join a pile of leaves. It is too late. It just waits for someone to notice it.