Turkey Chase 2021

I did a thing on Thursday. I ran a Thanksgiving Day 5K. To many it’s probably not a big deal, but for me it was a decent physical accomplishment and a reminder that was sorely needed. With enough determination, persistence, effort, and faith most anything is possible.

This was my first 5K in five years. I was slower than last time. I weigh more than before. My body aches way more than it used to. It wasn’t my best pace but I did complete it which was goal number one.

This time I upgraded from my Converse All-Stars to actual running shoes. Even with that, I can’t say I like running much. I think I like the idea of it and the feeling of accomplishment when it’s completed. But the actual running part is somewhat torturous to me. I’m not saying I won’t keep trying but for this year one 5K is enough.

…although it would seem fitting to do one more at some point so I can say I ran five 5Ks. Maybe when I’m 55?

5K collages

The best book I read in 2020

I’ve delayed writing and publishing this. It seems rather shallow to talk about the best books we’ve read last year given the circumstances in the country.

This morning I listened to an episode of NPR’s Embedded entitled, January 6: Inside The Capitol Siege. They played tape from several people covering varying aspects of what happened at the Capitol two weeks ago. Multiple journalists from separate publications working together to give their accounts. That’s when it hit me. We as a collective group have experienced possibly the most traumatic event in our living history as Americans. As individuals our experiences and reactions and ways to deal with it are all distinct.

We all cope with things differently.

Talking about books seems a bit… frivolous. But maybe digging a little more into books, for some of us, is what brings us together by sharing ideas and stories. Could it be a trashy novel helps our brain escape and take a much needed break from the very serious state of the world? With that rest, we can come out stronger. Like great art, perhaps a book helps us see a perspective we had never considered before. They help clarify ideas that weren’t quite as solid as before reading a certain passage or chapter.

I tend to be a non-fiction reader and recommender. In 2020, the most important book I read was Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. This is one of those books that I think every single person should read. Yes, it’s well written and compelling. But what’s more important is the thread Ms. Wilkerson unspools from before the founding of America to modern history to today. Seriously read (or listen to) this book!

Here are some other recommendations that I received when I put out the call:

Remorseless by Beth Fisher

How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

Designing Your Life and/or Designing Your Work Life by Bill Burnett

Apologies that Never Came by Pierre Alex Jeanty 

Zonal Marking by Michael W. Cox

The Algebra of Happiness by Scott Galloway

Thank you for sharing these suggestions. I’ve added them to my reading list and already bought at least one of them.

To quote my favorite television president, What’s next?

“It’s not the violence of the few that scares me, it’s the silence of the many.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

3 random things

  1. How much do you know about opossums? I know this might seem kind of odd at first but check out this PBS video made by a wildlife filmmaker Alex Goetz. (It’s only 3m 16s. You can make the time.)

  2. The words we use have a very powerful effect on us. I read How a Password Changed My Life several years ago. In 2015 I implemented my own version of the concept which was the impetus of a 100 pound weight loss journey for me that year.

  3. have you check out lately? It gives a random glimpse out someone’s window around the world. In August I stumbled onto a view of badgers eating in the evening in Halesowen, England. Yes, seriously! If you have an unused webcam lying around, I think you can sign up to give someone a look outside of your window if you’re so inclined.

CSAs and helpful sites

Late last year I signed up to split a CSA share with a friend. Every other week I pick up a box of organic produce from a local farmer. It’s super cool however, I find myself struggling with ideas of what to cook.

This is what led me to my favorite site/app of the moment, SuperCook. I mark what food items I currently have at home, it scours recipe sites to show me what I can make. I’m totally digging it.

It reminds me of Make Me A Cocktail which got crazy traffic when self-quarantining first became a thing this past March.

CSA 2020-07-25.jpeg

Who gets blamed for our crises?

This is such a thought provoking opinion piece from Kenan Malik in the Guardian. There are so many great quotable parts. Below are three that resonated with me the most.

At every point, the government has insisted that people must “blame themselves”.

The aim of social policy should be to restore to people that freedom to be able to make reasonable choices.

The “culture of poverty” thesis should remind us that racism and contempt for poor and working-class people have common roots. To challenge the one, we also have to challenge the other.


Functional metals

Copper, silver, and brasses have anti-microbial properties.

Knobs for doors were traditionally brass or copper. This is why push plates on doors are oftentimes brass.

US coins used to have a top layer of copper or silver. From true silver dollars to copper half-pennies, the coins finish protected people from passing germs.

These metals have an ability to kill a wide range of harmful microbes rapidly, many times in under two hours and with a high degree of efficiency.

On copper, Influenza A will be reduced by 75% in an hour. It will be 99.999% reduced after six hours. E. coli microbes are killed after 1–2 hours on copper. On stainless steel surfaces, the microbes can survive for weeks.

Is this why silverware used to be silver plated? Maybe there’s a reason your Moscow mule is in a copper mug.

Those copper pots and silver wares you have are more than just pretty. They serve a multi-functional role too.