Monday, January 30, 2006

1/22/2006 - Take 2000 steps and call me in the morning

I saw my orthopedic surgeon today -- all things considered, a very positive meeting.

  • No surgery (yay)
  • No need to stop walking (super-yay)
  • No need to do exercises (yay. OK, I'm lazy)

There were two aspects of the meeting that were odd, however. First, my doctor objected strenuously to the notion that building up my muscles (through exercise) could do anything for my ligaments. I had heard this notion from so many other people in other contexts that it got to the point where he appeared to be rebelling for rebellion's sake (oh, I'm afraid that the ligaments are fully operational).

Second, in order to explain how I had gotten into this mess, the doctor wanted me to believe in two traumatic incidents. The second was likely to have occurred on New Year's day, while I was pushing the (well-bundled, sleeping) baby through the snow over the course of almost 2 hours. This would be the event that led to the swelling and recurring pain I have experienced since. I have no difficulty believing in the existance of this traumatic event.

The first event would have been something in the distant past. A very traumatic event that essentially knocked my knee permanently out of alignment without my having noticed. The appointment slowly evolved into a Freudian search for some subconscious recollection of an event that would explain the rather uncommon injury. We finally settled on a grate I fell into when I was 16. I also discovered that I was a fishmonger in a past life.

The Wife thinks that I have complained about the knee for some time, so that kind of validates Dr. Freud's diagnosis.

The good news is this: If I suffered this injury long ago, and have run a significant amount since (I was running 4miles at a stretch as recently as 6 months ago), I can't be too hobbled by the injury.

And the pain? Dr. Freud's theory is this: By now, my knee is probably only 80% recovered from the injury. I shouldn't expect to be 100% for 3 months after the injury, so that would be, what? April Fool's Day. Swell.

10,600 mending steps today. Cheers,

Sunday, January 29, 2006

1/21/2006 - Out of the mouths of babes

Part 3 in the podcast trilogy.

I am embarrased to admit how much of my Red Sox news I get from people without so much as a High School diploma.

First, there is Alex Reimer, who has a podcast (which I follow) and blog (which I don't - hey, time is limited). I started listening to him based on the subject of his podcast alone (all Red Sox, all the time) and was surprised to learn that his voice hasn't dropped yet. But he is among the more interesting podcasters out there. He has clearly listened to enough Sports Talk Radio to have the cadences down pat (e.g. Will [Manny Ramirez] produce 120 RBIs next year? Maybe, but think about this...).

I became hooked at the following discussion: Roger Clemens was not tendered an offer by the Astros, leaving him to decide whether to retire or look for work elsewhere. There was some speculation that he may return to the Sox, with whom he broke in. Alex's take? Under his current contract, he doesn't even have to show up to work unless he is the starting pitcher. That leaves him 5-6 days a week to hang out with his family (in Texas). Would the Red Sox offer him the same deal? Probably, but it would now involve more travel, since he has to fly to and from Boston. Will that be worth it to him? Maybe not. We'll find out soon enough, but in the meantime, I enjoyed the analysis.

Before I talk about Basegirl, I must confess that there is, indeed, a base element that made me somewhat hesitant to link to her blog. Specifically, she is quite crass. It's not that her subject matter (98% Boston Sports) is particularly prurient, but she seems to enjoy swearing more than appeals to my (admittedly puritan) ears.

So, in the interest of full disclosure, if you are apt to be offended by such language, by all means, skip the rest of this post.

I came across the Basegirl while looking for information on a (now departed) catching prospect named Kelly Shoppach. I read a few of her entries and realized that she was a fun, opinionated source of Red Sox news. Exactly how old is she? Hard to say. On one hand, her vocabulary and tendency towards "snarkiness" strikes me as 15-17ish. On the other hand, she has a tendency to drop Orwell references making her surprisingly well read for a teenager.

[Maybe that's just a girl thing. I have no diffiuclty imagining that the Gnome had read 1984 by the time she was 15]

OK. I had to look at her website. She's 25. Man, I'm getting old. They say that the ability to tell teenagers from 20-somethings is the first thing to go.

11,000 senile steps today. Something,

1/20/2006 - My feet are in Boston, my blog in New York, but my heart is in New Zealand

Part 2 in the podcast trilogy.

Among the best podcasts I have listened to so far is a serial called Claybourne. Doled out in 5 minute segments...

[Note - the incredible variety of range of lengths of podcasts is one of the merits of this new media. It's available whether you have an hour, or 20 minutes or 5 minutes to kill] is the story of a typical Yank (read: American) who finds himself traveling from the foreign culture of New Zealand to the far more foreign culture of the Maori (the native New Zealanders).

I haven't progressed too far into it, but here's what I like so far:

  • It is produced, with a soundtrack and some special effects
  • They do the tease well, where they unveil just enough each episode, be it about the spookiness or the relationships.

Definitely worth the 5 minutes.

14,100 suspense filled steps today. Cheers,

PS - More than my heart may be in New Zealand. I f memory serves, the Happy Kiwi is there as well...

1/19/2006 - Like TiVo for radio, but free (and worth the price)

Part 1 of the podcasting trilogy.

I think that I have mentioned before that I often listen to podcasts as I walk. I originally considered getting XM radio, but that would have given me a mere 200 channels. Instead, I can choose from thousands of channels, with the number growing weekly.

The downside? Average quality is pretty much what you would expect. For every podcast I have listened to twice, there are 3 or 4 to which I shall never return. I will make some effort to showcase some of the better ones as I go along.

An average podcast is somewhat akin to having a chat with one's friends. They know some interesting things which you don't, but largely they just ramble and occasionally say something truly stupid. A great example would be a Supreme Court podcast that I have listened to once so far (link obscured to protect the innoncent). During the Alito hearings, the panel of podcasters mostly quoted senators and shared their emotions. As swell as that was, I would have loved for them to quote decisions, investigate the impact of those decisions, anything. But then again, nobody's paying these guys' (and 1 girl's) for their time. What did I expect?

For those that want to enter into the fine world of podcasting, but just can't bear the amateurism, I can recommend Audible. I have actually had great difficulty with the technical side of Audible, but one can't argue with the material, which includes radio shows, books on tape and probably some other stuff.

In the meantime, I'm just enjoying the company on my walk...

13,000 assimilated steps today. Cheers,

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

1/18/2006 - Canandaigua, NY

Here I am in scenic, downtown Canandaigua. It seems like forever since I've lasted posted a city visit -- an insidious side-effect of my lower footage.

Looking around on the city's website what interested me most was the stats of Canandaigua lake:

16.57 square miles (10,600 acres) of surface area
15.8 miles long
1.5 miles wide
276 feet deep
(688 feet above sea level)

How much water does it hold?
429 billion gallons capacity

12,000 astounded steps today. Cheers,

1/17/2006 - Jump up, jump up and jump around

I found a new way to get in another 600-800 steps at night. Before I put my boys to bed, I pop on a tune and we dance. I hold the baby while my eldest jumps with earnest enthusiasm. I tend to be a little mindful of my gimpy knee while doing this, but so far, I haven't caused any problems.

Tonight we listened to ABBA (big hit) and an a capella song (which my eldest informed me "was not music").

10,000 groovin' steps today. Cheers,

Monday, January 23, 2006

1/16/2006 - Momentum

Magid is surprised by how many steps I put up. Frankly, so am I. I check my pedometer frequently and test it periodically. I even go so far as to count my steps manually one day a week, to make sure that the results match my intuition.

My knee problems have definitely cramped my style. Before I noticed the problem, I was averaging over 14,000 steps a day (helped out a lot by even higher numbers on the weekends). Since that fateful New Year's, I've been down around 11,500, again heavily driven by a precipitous drop off in weekend steps.

It's not that I experience much pain, but I do avoid doing things that I fear would set my knee off. And I think that I am probably losing a few hundred steps per day by taking the elevator at work.

Still, when I need to, I can still get my steps. Tonight (1/23), I fell asleep with my eldest. At 10, I rolled out of bed with 8,100 steps and not much evening left. I aim for 12,000 steps on a weekday, but I feel like 10,000 is kind of a minimum standard. I figured the day was shot. Still, I doggedly put in my steps, pacing through the apartment after every couple of dishes washed. As I write this post, I am at 9,950 steps. I will almost certainly make my minimum and sleep a little better.

9,100 suboptimal steps today. :-(

Sunday, January 22, 2006

1/15/2006 - Brisk, as my grandmother (ZLB) would say

Well, on to more pleasant subjects. Today it was 11 degrees in Boston (about the same in upstate NY). Mostly, I stayed in doors and played with my kids, but once they were in bed, I told my wife that I had to go out and experience the cold. I walked a video to the store and back (slightly under a mile in about 20 minutes) in my many layers of clothes.

Actually, it was quite pleasant. I used to have difficulty walking in the cold, but in retrospect, I probably just had a coat that was in need of replacement...

14,500 frigid steps today. Cheers,

1/14/2006 - Double jointed in upstate NY

If my loyal readers will permit me, I will engage in a terribly anachronistic post. Today (Sunday, 1/22) I went to the doctor's, at my wife's urging, to have my knee checked out. I brought along my 4-year old, in case he needed to explain any of the medical terms to me.

As (I imagine) is customary, my knee hurt much worse on the way out than on the way in. The doctor pushed on a series of points, none of which hurt, but finally saw something, that gave him concern. He called it a "lax ligament," but I would describe it as follows:

....(normal leg).......(me, when pushed).

Suffice it to say that I didn't really wan't to know that my knee had the ability to do this. Bottom line? X-rays, a trip to an orthopedic surgeon and advil whenever I want. Actually, the doctor thought that it wasn't too bad, but he wants me to see a specialist and catch anything early, just in case.

So I asked the big question: "I'm walking to Alaska, could that have caused this injury? Do I need to come home and get back to forecasting insurance cash flows?"

Yeah, the walking may have caused the problem, but he's happy to see me counting my steps. As long as it doesn't hurt, I'm allowed to keep on trucking.

18,900 cautious steps today. Cheers,

Thursday, January 19, 2006

1/13/2006 - Magee, NY

Busted flat in Batten Rouge,
waitin for the train,
Feelin' 'bout as faded as my jeans,

Bobby thumbed a diesel down,
just before it rained,
Took us all the way to New Orleans.

I pulled my old harpoon out of my dirty red bandanna,
And was blowing sad while Bobby sang the blues, yeah
With them wipers slappin' time, And Bobby clapping hands we finally
sang up every song that driver knew.

Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose,
Nothin' ain't worth nothin' but it's free,
Feelin' good was easy Lord, when Bobby sang the blues.
Feelin' good was good enough for me... good enough for me and Bobby Magee.

Finding anything about the city of Magee proves to be quite difficult.

13,100 confused steps today. Cheers,

1/12/2006 - The longest walk

So who owns the record for the longest walk? According to Guinness:

The greatest distance claimed for a 'round the world walker' is 55,524 km (34,501 miles) by Arthur Blessitt of North Fort Myers, Florida, USA, in more than 31 years since December 25th, 1969. He has been to all seven continents, including Antarctica, carrying a 3.7 m (12 ft) cross and preaching throughout his walk.

Kind of makes my own little virtual excursion seem plebean.

11,000 humble steps today. Cheers.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

1/11/2006 - Vegging out in Upstate NY

For the first time since our baby was born (over 4 months ago) we rented a movie and watched half of it - the Fantastic Four. It's a lighthearted romp about 4 individuals who get exposed to cosmic rays and find joy, camaraderie and super powers.

But it's not all fun and games. One of them becomes quite unattractive.

I've learned my lesson. If JIV calls me up and invites me to join him for a trip to the sun, I'll probably say no.

10,700 unheroic steps today. Cheers,

1/10/2006 - Well wishes

Thanks to the many of you who have called or posted to ask after my knees. Although they are feeling much better, I do promise to go see my PCP and then a podiatrist in the near future. After all, I have another 6,000 or so miles to walk.

10,500 rejuvenating steps today. Cheers,

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

1/9/2006 - Weedsport and Googlism

What fun to be in Weedsport, where the population (~2,000) is less than the population of the building I used to work in (easily 2,500). As you can imagine, the smaller the city, the less likely it is to find interesting links to in on the Web. However, I did find a website called "Googlism" which purports to being a way to find out what Google thinks about anything.

What does Google think about Weedsport?

"weedsport is the only village in brutus

weedsport is approximately 1996

weedsport is four miles east of bucksville and nine miles east of montezuma

weedsport is a typical example of the changes in business that take place over the years

weedsport is located in cayuga county 24 miles wo syracuse along highway 34 off i90

weedsport is a great place for a stopover or spend a few days with us as you visit the famed

weedsport is located in cayuga county new york

weedsport is still open to take care of us plain old sparrows

weedsport is an authorized dealer for commodore homes

weedsport is saved for a big four

weedsport is automatically sent to us here in wv

weedsport is not to be beaten

weedsport is a tradition for many dirt fans from years back

weedsport is the team to beat in the competitive class c west

weedsport is lim

weedsport is a small

weedsport is incorporated

weedsport is a village in cayuga county new york

weedsport is a good place to find homes for sale at a great price

weedsport is not yet listed

weedsport is a nice place to live"

It's a shame that weedsport remains unlisted, but I'm thrilled for those lucky folks in West Virginia. What does google think about me?

virtual tourist is 10 months old already (I'm quite prodigious)
virtual tourist is a member of the israeli the parliament (elected by the narrowest of margins)
virtual tourist is your average high school kid who loves blink (I'm a huge fan)
virtual tourist is planning on making this day (I was going to make last Thursday, but overslept)
virtual tourist is growing on me (Much obliged)
virtual tourist is a congo african grey parrot (Incorrect, I am mauve)
virtual tourist is the third in a series of c3 processors (No joke necessary)
virtual tourist is the son of god (The younger son -- the one you don't hear about much)
virtual tourist is dedicated to academic excellence (I'm pleased you noticed)
virtual tourist is collecting empty cartridges for the funding factory?s recycling program
virtual tourist is excellent all around (But needs to apply himself)
virtual tourist is our headlining band for the grand prix kick off concert (Playing the clarinet)
virtual tourist is my fruit of imagination (???)
virtual tourist is blessed with considerable talent (I'm blushing)
virtual tourist is like an old woman with his tales (Outed!)
virtual tourist is the jewish core in the novel
virtual tourist is the sharpest dresser of the bunch (Clearly incorrect)
virtual tourist is the son allah (You say po-tay-to)
virtual tourist is still extremely passionate about his sense of creativity and his city (Cambridge)
virtual tourist is living in a dream world just because virtual tourist's views are nothing short of diabolic (As you have doubtless already noticed)
virtual tourist is about to pay so dearly with his freedom (Nuts)
virtual tourist is huge (but I've lost 2 pounds)
virtual tourist is known for being cheerful and friendly in public (Thanks)
virtual tourist is not computer literate (As evidenced by his blog)
virtual tourist is an example of why we need a strong federal judiciary in hawaii (my sentiments exactly)

Oh, one more:

anwr is key to our national energy security
anwr is good for alaska 09/10
anwr is ignorant
anwr is america's best chance for a major discovery
anwr is not the answer"
anwr is the last pristine frontier in the united states
anwr is one vote short
anwr is unbearably cold and dark
anwr is the farthest north in north america
anwr is a symbol for how we view our wild lands
anwr is not dead yet
anwr is still untapped is absurd
anwr is unjustified and smacks of election year
anwr is a winnable issue
anwr is one of the largest refuges in america's national wildlife refuge system
anwr is a key point in the president’s energy plan
anwr is accessible only by aircraft
anwr is a slice of coastal plain the size of ireland
anwr is not only home to great caribou herds and other wildlife
anwr is the hottest issue going
anwr is roughly the size of south carolina
anwr is the calving grounds of the porcupine caribou herd
anwr is 19 million acres
anwr is just a frozen desert
anwr is needed
anwr isn't tapped
anwr is off the table
anwr is part of the national wildlife refuge system maintained by the us fish and wildlife service

I have spent entirely too much time on this post.

9,200 ill-conceived steps today. Cheers,

1/8/2006 - Looking at Alaska from Upstate NY

According to Reuters

"Alaska's Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in the U.S. Senate, vowed on Monday to remain in office until the chamber agrees to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil drilling."
Not quite "Give me Liberty or give me death," but I suppose it'll do.

10,800 steps today. Cheers,

1/7/2006 - Pi

What do I do while I walk? Sometimes I am pushing the baby, in which case I mostly just push the baby. Sometimes I listen to podcasts, which is kind of like TiVo for radio, if TiVo only had the ability to record the lowest quality content available on TV.

Sometimes I do neither. Of late, I have developed the silly habit of memorizing Pi. I have long been fond of memorizing and this is just the latest thing. I don't know how long it will last, but from memory:

3.1415 92653
58979 32384
62643 38327
95028 84197
05820 97494 (this line came too early. nuts)
16939 93751
10,100 transcendental steps today. Cheers,

Sunday, January 15, 2006

1/6/2006 - The agony of defeat, not to mention de knee

Anachronistically looking at the news this weekend, I see that New England lost to Denver and Indianapolis bowed out to Pittsburgh. How reminiscent of the end of the seasons for the Red Sox and the Yankees.

Back on the 6th, my knee seems to be getting worse. I thought that it was improving and started walking a bit more, but now I regret that...

1/5/2006 - Syracuse, Take 2

36°F in Syracuse as I arrive at one of the largest cities on my path to date. By 2000 there were almost 150,000 folks living here (compared to a mere 100,000 in my own Cambridge or 600,000 in Boston Proper).

In a city of this size and history, the difficulty isn't finding something to blog about, it's deciding from which among many. After a couple of websearches, I was quickly drawn to the Erie Canal Museum.

Having walked so near to the canal for the past month or so, it was inevitable that I would develop a keen interest in that august body of water (far more interesting than, say, route 62). On a personal note, for those of us who have endured the "Big Dig," it's nice to have something for comparison purposes.

The canal was first envisioned from 1699 (Lake Erie to Ontario) to 1724 (Lake Erie to Hudson River). Only 68 years later, the New York legislature passes an act opening up the possibility of construction. The first locks are built in that year (1792). Work seems to really get underway in 1817, with hundreds of miles of canal being opened up in the next 3 years. Work is essentially complete in 1825. I have the University of Rochester to thank for this chronology.

So the work really only took 8 years (about the same as the Big Dig) but probably cost less (~$13.6B). In the Big Dig's defense, the contractors had to navigate around Boston, a skill I still haven't developed, nearly 10 years on.

One of the most interesting exhibits I virtually saw in the museum was a letter from Nathaniel Hawthorne on riding along the canal. Hawthorne characterized the waters as follows:
"Surly [sic], the water of this canal must be the most fertilizing of all fluids, for it causes towns—with their masses of brick and stone, their churches and theatres, their business and hubbub, their luxury and refinement, their gay dames and polished citizens—to spring up, till, in time, the wondrous stream may flow between two continuous lines of buildings, through one thronged street, from Buffalo to Albany"
How could I add to that?

11,000 low bridges steps today. Cheers,

Saturday, January 14, 2006

1/4/2006 - Syracuse, NY

This is a terrible city.
The people are cattle and swine.
There isn't a girl I'd call pretty
Or a friend that I'd call mine.

And the only decent place on earth
Is the town that gave me birth.

You can keep your Athens,
You can keep your Rome,
I'm a hometown fellow
And I pine for home,
I wanna go back, go back
To dear old Syracuse.

Though I've worn out sandals
And my funds are low,
There's a light that's burning in the patio,
I wanna go back, go back
To dear old Syracuse.
It is no metropolis,
It has no big Acropolis,
And yet there is a quorum
Of cuties in the forum.

Though the boys wear tunics that are out of style
They will always greet me with a friendly smile.
I wanna go back, go back
To dear old Syracuse.

Both the Nile and Danube
Are a silly bore.
I've a hometown river
That assaults my door.
I wanna go back, go back
To dear old Syracuse.

When a man is lonelyIt is good to know
There's a red light burning in the patio.I wanna go back, go back
To dear old Syracuse.

Wives don't want divorces there,
The men are strong as horses there,
[the following two verses edited for the sake of my wife]

When the search for love becomes a mania,
You can take the night boat to Albania.
I wanna go back, go back
To dear old Syracuse.

13,100 Hartfelt steps today. Cheers,

1/3/2006 - Hobbling in upstate NY

Over the next 2 weeks, you are going to notice less mileage on my blog. Did I break another pedometer? Nope, just my knee. Actually, I didn't break it, but I clearly did some damage over the last 4 days.

Not only did I walk a lot (86,300 steps or 40.8 miles in total) but I did much of that pushing a stroller (which I love). By the end of the day, I couldn't go up or down stairs without hobbling and felt a fair amount of pain. My Dr. in Law took a quick look at both knees and diagnosed the left one as "full of fluid." He prescribed me Celebrex (I opted for Advil) and gave me some advice. My knee has been mending slowly, but I am reminded of moderation in all things. I doubt I shall see the day when I remember to put that in practice.

I have to keep reminding myself that 10,000 is a pretty fair number of steps. Still, I am sorry to be off of my pace. Oh, for a glass of Saratogian water.

10,100 pathetic steps today. Cheers,

1/2/2006 - A shout out to "Katie"

One of the most enjoyable aspects of my journey has been the very occasional run-ins with strangers (see: friends I haven't yet met). The most recent is Katie, who stopped by to inform me that I missed one of Saratoga Springs' great features -- the springs.

Pretty much from its inception, legend has had it that the springs here contain medicinal powers. For the Native Americans who lived here, the valley was place of peace. For those who later moved here, it has become a place of R&R. As I am about to embark in my first walking injury, I shall sorely miss the chance to have partaken of these healing waters, but for now I am grateful to have run into Katie.

Katie also informs me that the correct term is "Saratogian." As a Cantergbridgian (and former Princetonian) I can certainly get behind that.

20,800 gregarious steps today. Cheers,

1/1/2006 - New Year's Day in Canastota

Given my proximity to the International Boxing Hall of Fame Museum, I wish that I could say that I was spending Boxing Day in Canastota. But I'm not, so pop open some bubbly and let's check out the boxers.

Before we go in, I must confess to having had a great interest in finding out what Canastota means. And thanks to Liz Metzger, I now know the name to come from an Native American word meaning "Cluster of Pines."

I must also confess that I have almost no interest in boxing at all. To me it's less of a "sport" and more of "what I try to keep my eldest from doing." Still, I am a big fan of Halls of Fame and in I go. After browsing the museum for a while, I settle on an exhibit of Ali and Frazier and what was billed as the "Fight of the Century." After reading the description I find that even I have been sucked into the drama of the night.

To begin with, imagine the 16-0 Colts going up against the 16-0 Eagles in the Superbowl. The 82-0 Spurs challenging the 82-0 Pistons for the NBA title. The 162-0 Red Sox coming face to face with the 162-0 Mets in the World Series.

Neither Ali nor Frazier had ever lost a fight when they met. Ali was stripped of his Heavyweight title when he dodged the draft. Nature abhors a vacuum, and so did Frazier, who quickly picked up what Ali left behind. After some considerable layoff, Ali re-entered the world of boxing and did himself justice, with two impressive victories. Demonstrating himself still undefeatable, Ali called for Frazier.

Parenthetically, at this point in the narrative, I find myself routing for Ali. A mere 3 paragraphs ago, I had no interest in the sport.

From the opening bell, it was clear to all that Ali had lost something in his break from boxing. At several points in the match, it looked like Frazier was going to achieve the knockout he sought. But Ali clung to his consciousness and managed to struggle through 15 rounds before being declared the loser.

15 rounds and no knockout. I guess, for a pacifist such as myself, that's the best that boxing can produce.

I hope that it's quite a few years before my sons read this.

22,500 bellicose steps today. Cheers,

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

12/31/2005 - A little New Year's humor

This post is for my mom, although others are welcome to read it.

As I sat down one evening,
'Twas in Starbucks Cafe,
A sweet, blue-haired barista
To me these words did say:

I see that you're a blogger,
And not just one of those nerds,
For no one but a blogger
Types acronyms for words.

I had a blogger boyfriend,
Unique, or so I’m told.
If you’d put it before him,
He'd eat whole pizzas, cold.

He never shaved his goaty
From off his small, weak chin;
He wrapped it round his bald spot
And fastened it with a pin.

My blogger came to see me,
His post was almost set.
He made a Python reference
I haven’t gotten yet.

He kissed me when we parted
Quite well, IMHO
To gaily post his musings
To town, my geek did go.

Oh, Google started stalling
It’s very sad to tell;
At a hundred K per second
He just typed LOL

Well, windows tried to freeze him,
It tried with all its wiles;
At seventeen K per second,
He closed some open files.

It froze clear down to China,
It froze his veins and blood.
At a forty-one bytes per second,
It froze my blogger bud.

His friends tried to reboot him
But no success had they;
So they stuck his brain in an XBox
To win at GTA

And so I lost my blogger,
And now serve hot drinks to herds;
Until somebody orders a


Typing acronyms for
(“all together now”)
(“It’s ‘words,’ little Mosie”)

25,200 satirical steps today. Cheers,

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

12/30/2005 - Anachronistically following the Alito hearings

That ever-flowing source of humorous moments, the Supreme Court hearing, has provided us with a couple of momentous quotes:

First, a very uncomfortable President Bush, attempting to send the nominee off to his hearings with word of comfort noted that noted that

"Sam’s got the intellect necessary to bring a lot of class to that Court."
Thank goodness. No more will we have to suffer through Chief Rehnquist's whoopee cushion's or Justice O'Connor's bawdy limericks.

Second, my very own Senator Kennedy referred to the nominee as "Alioto"

I'm still trying to figure out what exactly that implies. Could it be possible Senator Kennedy, who would appear to feel very strong about this nomination, has not discussed the nominee with a single other person?

I am sure that Kennedy's supporters wait, with bated breath, to hear the intellectual arguments that Kennedy uses to sway undecided votes on the senate floor.

In other news, I understand that there is a group of Liberals in Massachusetts who have decided to refer to the nominee exclusively as "Sam Alioto" in an attempt to suggest that this is just the New England way of pronouncing the name as in

"That Alioto, he's got wicked class."

18,600 of them apples today. Cheers,

12/29/2005 - The scales of justice

My scale has consistently put me at around 148 lbs for the last couple of days. Maybe I am losing weight.

12,000 optimistic steps today. Cheers,

12/28/2005 - Utica, NY

How's the weather in Utica? On December 28th it hovered around 29 degrees with bits of drizzle here and there. On my way through Utica, I stopped off at the Children's Museum and the Zoo.

The Zoo has a fun website (I'll have to make a note of it). If you click on 'animals,' you get a slide show of the various residents of the zoo. My eldest would love it. The Children's museum contains a number of fun exhibits, but most importantly, a "Dinorama," which is all that I really need.

Of course, if it's dinosaurs you're after, you could do worse than trying here.

10,200 prehistoric steps today. Cheers,

Monday, January 09, 2006

12/27/2005 -- A further thought on Route 90

I was driving out near Hudson, MA tonight and on my return trip, I followed a sign that said "Route 90 - NYC." Technically, no matter how far you drive down Route 90, you will never reach New York, unless you think to turn off down 95, 91 or 84. And yet, the sign in Hudson is just one of many.

I first became familiar with this sight in downtown Boston, which sports a sign pointing to the City. You will not find a sign at 125th and West End pointing to "Boston."

I therefore make the following proposal. We should find all of these signs in the Massachusetts area and replace them with names of cities that you can actually reach on 90, such as Seattle, Worcestor or even Gary, Indiana.

16,000 confused steps today. Cheers.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

12/26/2005 - Contemplating 90

I'm on Route 90, that asphalt river running west. Had I so chosen, I could have simply hopped on this mighty beast from the beginning and saved myself 500 miles. I live less than 1 mile from an entrance to Route 90 (the "Mass Pike," as it's called around my haunts) and it would have taken me only about 3,100 miles to hike straight to Seattle, which I fully intended to hit anyway.

Instead, I chose a meandering route, designed to hit Niagara, Mount Rushmore (just off the highway anyway) and Yellowstone, to name only a few of the sights that caught my interest. Truth be told, I only added 75 days to my route through such excursions. And amazingly, I still have almost that much hiking to do after I pass through Seattle - Alaska is a long way away.

Anyone who has spent any time on Route 90 (it's part of my daily commute) has probably come to think of it as one of the more barren roads along which one could meander, but the following website does manage to inject a little life into it. Apparently,

  • There are occasionally places in Montana where the mighty highway shrinks to a 2 lane road, like the one I grew up on.
  • New York is labeled backwards
  • I-990, a spur route around Buffalo, is the highest numbered Interstate in the country.

There -- not totally lifeless. I can't be too cruel to this road now, as I will be back on it once I get to the Midwest (after my Canadian excursion).

22,000 uninteresting steps. Cheers,

Thursday, January 05, 2006

12/25/2005 -- Christmas in Little Falls

On my way to the big falls, it seemed appropriate to stop off in Little Falls. The city sports around 6,000 "friendly" folks (I'm quoting the website -- I didn't really meet them). It also sports a Little Falls museum which takes us through the city's relationship with the great Erie Canal, its Italian ancestry and it Cheese industry.

I reached the city today with a personal record of 30,000 steps. When I first started this blog, I didn't know how I was going to make 10,000 steps a day. Clearly, I owe a lot of my success to having children, as I am often saying to myself

  • "I wonder why the baby is crying" or
  • "I should probably find out what just broke" or even
  • "I might as well fish the remote out of the toilet again"

I try to remind myself how grateful I am to my kids. It helps at 3:30 AM.

30,000 proud but weary steps today. Cheers,

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

12/24/2005 -- St. Johnsville, NY

On Christmas Eve, I amble my way into St. Johnsville. Were I some flavor of Christian, I would probably make my way to St. John's Reformed Church for the services. The church has sat in this city for over 225 years, not much less the country itself has kept company with the city. While I may not appreciate what the Church means to the folks who live here, I am sure that the 2,500 or so residents would be happy to tell me, were I really there.

I'm sorry to any who have checked out this blog recently my two boys have generally conspired to sleep less and thereby prevent me from blogging lo this past week. I look forward to sharing more of my travels with you in the near future.

20,100 sugar plums today. Cheers,