Been Here Before

Some things never change.

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Ash In Their Feather Dusters

The villagers, he said, knew about the camp, and watched daily as thousands of prisoners would arrive by rail car, herded like cattle into the camp. Even though the camp never could have held the vast numbers of prisoners who were brought in, the villagers knew that no one ever left. They also knew that the smokestack of the camp’s crematorium belched a near-steady stream of smoke and ash. Yet the villagers chose to remain igno­rant about what went on inside the camp. No one inquired, be­cause no one wanted to know.”

“But every day,” he said, “these people, in their neat Ger­manic way, would get out their feather dusters and go outside. And, never thinking about what it meant, they would sweep off the layer of ash that would settle on their windowsills overnight. Then they would return to their neat, clean lives and pretend not to notice what was happening next door.”

”When the camps were liberated and their contents were revealed, they all expressed surprise and horror at what had gone on inside,” he said. “But they all had ash in their feather dusters.”

By David Neiwert

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About Running

Back in 2012 or 2013, I decided to switch from bicycling to running. I remember my first effort at, well, let’s call it jogging instead of running. If I managed a mile in 20 minutes, I would consider myself lucky. It was an embarrassing affair, to say the least. I would plod along at a jog slower than I could walk. Well, that’s how it felt. At over 250 lbs and decidedly out of shape I was lucky to not have a coronary.

One of the things I adopted early on was measuring my heart rate. The miracle of modern technology allowed me to pace myself. My first heart rate monitor was a Runtasic device that seemed to fail after about 20 minutes, reading my heart rate in half the actual amount. Next came a Fitbit. It worked better than the Runtastic’s device. Unfortunately, it didn’t work with the Runtastic app. And I found the Fitbit app less than adequate. It’s map function, and ability to post to social media was both cumbersome and less than visually appealing.

I now own an Apple Watch. It works with the Runtasic app in ways that I couldn’t have imagined. The watch itself can control the app. So, now I can put my phone in a baggie on rainy days and start and stop Runtastic just with the watch.

Anyway, let me get back to the point I wanted to make. I set goals for myself when I started running. There were two things I wanted to accomplish. One, I wanted to lose weight. In my wildest dreams , I wanted to get back under 200 lbs. However, I thought that a bit extreme. So I set my sights on 220 lbs. I am currently fluctuating between 215 to 218. Late last fall, before the onset of the holiday seasons I managed to get down to 209 lbs.

As to pace; I set a goal of being able to run a sub-10-minute mile pace. I have done that on several occasions. It is yet to be consistent, but I’m getting there. Here is where the heart rate comes into play. Before I monitored my heart rate, I would push myself as hard as I could. I would be physically exhausted, and I couldn’t bring myself to exercise for several days. The Runtastic app educated me on the proper heart rate I should be maintaining while exercising. As a result, I started to ignore my pace and stick to the heart rate.

Today I am happy to say I have been able to keep myself from going over 160 beats per minute while running a sub-10-minute mile. As noted above, my weight has gone up due to the winter/holiday season. However, I’ve worked on setting up a simple gym of a treadmill and my bike downstairs and invested in winter running gear. My hope is not to lose any gains in both weight loss and running pace I make this summer. Indeed, I’ve set myself two new goals; to get below 200 lbs and to run a sub 9 minute mile. All while monitoring my heart rate.

And Keep Running!
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Time to Run

Keep Running!
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Early Sunday Morning Luck

Well, maybe not so much. I planned on sleeping in. And, for the record, slept through what Tina described as one hell of a thunderstorm. Still, I was up by 7:30 AM. Granted, not early by even my standards, but earlier than I had planned to rise. Which turned out to be a good thing. See, we were out of coffee.

Yes, I know. We should be ashamed of ourselves for allowing such a development. We won’t, obviously. But we should. Now, do you mind? I’m trying to tell a story here.

Anyway, I had to make a run to Target. They have a store brand called “Archer Farms.” The coffee this brand sells is organic and free trade. Also, it’s excellent.  I know this because I’m sipping it as I type this. Finally, it’s cheap. And this morning on sale for $4.99 per 10 ounce bag of grounds.

Well, the store opens at 8:00, which I didn’t really know until I got there. Honestly, I had thought they opened up at 7:00 AM. But, not the case. So, luck was with me. Actually, luck seems to be playing a large part of this morning, from my waking up, to arriving at Target at 7:58 AM, to finding the coffee on sale. And all this while there was a break in the storms. Hell, there was even sunshine.

I know, I’m surprised myself. I just might go buy myself some lottery tickets.

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A View To Serenity

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I bought my house.

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Alright, Alright!

Shopping it is. Also, it’s frigg’n cold out. I had to turn the heat on so I could shower comfortably. Sheesh! Anyway, you all try not to destroy the place while I am gone.

Seriously. Don’t be dicks.

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Testing a Plugin

Trying a new plugin that is supposed to automatically submit my blog posts to Facebook. Hoping it works.

And it didn’t work because I don’t have an https site. Bastards.

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What To Do

I’m debating whether I should go running, go shopping, or plop my ass on the couch and veg for the day. To be honest, it’s exhausting! I really hate this adulting thing. Decisions, decisions. I can’t wait for A.I. to finally come online, take over the human race, and make all our decisions for us.

Now if you would get the hell off my lawn it’d be appreciated.

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Jet Pack Gone

Well, interestingly enough, now that I’ve deleted the Jet Pack plugin from my blog it seems to run faster. I also deleted my WordPress account, which also seemed to be dragging down my blog. Even my media library, which used to hang up some days and always was slow loading now is lightning fast.

So, to any of my readers out there (which may have dramatically dropped now that I don’t have a subscription option with the removal of Jet Pack) with WordPress blogs who use Jet Pack how does it work for you?

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