Saturday, May 5, 2018

Rainy days and Wednesdays

The crafting (gag) of this post has proceeded in fits and starts. It is now Saturday afternoon. When I began, it was Wednesday afternoon...

I was talkin' to myself and feelin' old.

And it was raining.

But it was Wednesday, I didn't want to quit, and I had better things to do than frown.

It's a great line though, that "rainy days and Mondays." A lovely old Carpenters song with a lyric and melody that tend to play in my head on rainy spring mornings. Who needs bluetooth when you've got rockhead?

I remember when, I remember, I remember when I lost my mind...

No, no, that ain't the Carpenters!. though I really dig this cover, and a bunch of my brane synapses are conspiring to recall moments from times long past.

Um, where was I?

I remember. I remember a rainy day many years ago. I was in Junior High, probably seventh grade. It was springtime, and the memory of that day is infused with "last couple of weeks of school" flavor. Anyway, I walked out in the rain that day. It was probably lunch time and I suspect I'd spurned school lunch in favor of taking my grownup seventh grade self down to the malt shop, which was a leisurely stroll of six or eight blocks. I doubt it was raining when I set out, but it was certainly raining when I headed back to the ol' school yard. It was a warm rain, a very springtime rain, and I remember how good it feltto be walking in a warm rain in the middle of a world coming alive after a long winter sleep. Walking in rain without being bothered by the wet or by my soaking clothes. For some reason that memory has stayed with me and it's a delightful one.

I also remember becoming chilled later in class, and shivering miserably in my sodden clothes. That's a good memory too, though not quite as delightful. Kind of a yin and yang thing I guess, an early realization that life is complex with complicated rules and unanticipated twists and turns. A good way to learn about the no free lunch thing; that the price of walking in a delightful rain storm is often paid in time spent shivering.
Ninth Grade, but close enough for gubmint work.

Think this yearbook ad would fly in 2018? Oh the victimization!

Butt I digress.

Wednesday morning I was indeed talkin' to myself and feelin' old. Feeling stiff and sore and creaky anyway. I did some serious exercise walking on Monday and Tuesday, and though I'd kept myself somewhat active and on my feet over the winter, I didn't do any regular walking or hiking. So Wednesday morning I was stiff and sore and creaky.

And it was raining.

Despite the pain of my age-induced infirmities I wanted to get out and get in some road work. But it was raining. Should I skip it and take a day off? It was an attractive proposal.

Getting in a good hard hike was more attractive, so that's what I did, spurred in part by the memory of a springtime walk in the rain many years ago.

The first mile was miserable. My ankles were sore and stiff and made me feel awkward. It was hard to get a flowing stride going. And as always when getting my legs back into walking shape, my anterior tibialis muscles burned like fire. The Tibialis Anteior is the big muscle on the front of the lower leg that lies alongside and outboard of the shinbone. It's the one that gives a great deal of power to your stride, the one that you use to push off with. The deep, aching, burning pain that came with each step was anything but enjoyable.

Not my first rodeo though, and I know that powering through the pain is the key to success. It's easy to give in to the pain and quit, and doing so isn't the end of the world, but it does delay the goal of getting back in hiking shape.
Cows didn't offer to get me a wheelchair.

Puddles are always nice to see in this country.

'Zackly 15 miles north of the Colorado line.

Just in case.


There's a Longhorn hiding in there.

Smokebong hill, good for what ails ya.

Brewer's blackbirds and a black-throated sparrow.

Keeping the rain out.

So I pressed on, and as usual, muscle pain began to dissipate after the first mile as tightness eased and blood flowed. I ended up taking a route that went a couple of miles south of Kimball along Highway 71. It was damp and cool and the rain wasn't the warm rain of my memory, but I kept plenty warm as I strode along. The route was mostly uphill going out and downhill coming back, so it was a good workout. As usual when I walk along roads with traffic though, people kept stopping to give me a ride. A couple of them actually wanted to argue with me when I declined their offer and explained that I was exercising. Which raises the question, were they actually offering assistance to a fellow human being? Or was their mission to manipulate and control an object that they don't really regard as a fellow human being?

Good workout.

Thursday it rained again, and Thursday I hiked again.

I split the hike to stop by the hospital while Dad was getting a paracentesis done.

Yesterday it was fixing fence and pasture hiking. Also four runs of a 1,000-yard two-gun course. Two-gun is like golf, only more kinetic. Players are required to have two balls, even the girls. And speaking of golf, more people are murdered annually in this country by golf clubs and other bludgeoning instruments than by rifles and shotguns combined. Funny how the media can't report that.

Today I didn't want to go at all. Not a lot of energy on standby. But that's the way it's supposed to be actually. It takes time and effort to switch the ol' metabolism from winter storage mode to non-winter active mode. You gotta deplete the ready stores of energy (blood glucose and muscle glycogen) and make the body start freeing up energy stored as lipids. Slow and easy over an extended time works, but so does fast (relatively) and hard (relatively) over a shorter time-frame. The danger of going fast and hard is twofold; the possibility of injury increases somewhat, and so does the possibility of giving up because it's too hard. So far so good. We'll see if I pussy out or not.

Five charges (ahem) up smokebong hill today. East of smokebong hill is drug deal road, you see...

Drug deal road is where even prominent local businesspersonages go to get the stuff they need to survive. Poor bastards (and bastardettes!).

 Beautiful day out there today...


  1. You are a better man than I, Gunga Din. ( Likely didn't spell that correctly, but you get the idea. ) I'm far too lazy to do that. Although I need to do more exercise, sitting and reading, while fun, just doesn't cut it.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

    1. No, you spelt it correctly. When the going gets tough an painful I remember Kipling's poem "If."

      Thanks Paul.

  2. I'd like to have that Alaskan camper on the Doge driving past the Conoco station.

    1. That's a good looking rig and appears to be used to serious purpose.

  3. OMG, walking in a spring rain... reminded me of the time my mother bought me a jacket with a fur (of unknown origin) collar. I got caught in a spring rain in that thing, and the smell of the horrible fumes from that wet fur... One kind fellow student on the school bus told me to toss that stinking thing out the window or he would.
    I'm back to long brisk walks and yoga. Use it or lose it!

    1. The mind is a treasure trove of cool memories. Use it or lose it is the reality of life. Thanks for stopping by Brig.

    2. Scott, one new shoot'n eye, other one the end of this week... I could learn to like being a pirate. Brig

  4. Still, it's better than working a traffic accident , at night, in the February sleet!

    1. Lots of hard things are easier than that. Thanks Scott.

    2. Is that a Judge that the bikini girls are cleaning the windshield of?!?!

    3. Good eye Scott! I have a tough time looking past the other interesting objects in order to inspect the car. It is indeed a Plymouth Judge.

    4. Is that anything like a Pontiac GTO Judge? :)

    5. Zackly like it! As you may be able to tell, I'm still addled by the way Tacy Simpson sported her swimwear some 40+ years ago.

  5. Loved the "Rocky" music after you crested that hill.

    Gave me a much needed chuckle.

  6. Thanks Sarge. Need to get some pigeons to make it more authenticker.🤣