Today’s Walk 1.024

When:  Early-afternoon, 1/22/2018
Weather: High 50’s with blue some smoky skies

It was a perfect day to walk.  It was slightly cooler than yesterday.  What was going to stop me from enjoying it?  My path was altered because the path was closed in two places–for drainage issues and to improve the park.  As I started my walk around the neighborhood, the other factor was hard to clear from my mind.  When I got home from work, the upstairs sink had slobbered excessively.  Even though the water was turned off in the sink, it still decided to spit up obnoxiously while I was at work.  The spitting was collecting and visible on the first-floor ceiling.  After starting my walk, I was worried something might happen while I was gone–the bucket catching the drippings could fall off the ladder OR the dripping at the sink upstairs could elevate its output.

I shortened the walk to ease my mind.  All appeared fine at home.  Unfortunately, after dinner, water was dripping slowly out of a vent in the ceiling.  I rushed upstairs immediately and tightened the knob to make sure it was entirely off.  (Lefty loosey; rightzy tightzy) . As I prepare to go to bed, I am planning on checking the bucket under the sink tonight AND again tomorrow morning.  Assuming it is not collecting “sink drool”, I will relax slightly.  Regardless, a plumber will be a guest in our house soon.

Today’s Walk 1.023

When:  Early-aftenoon, 1/21/2018
Weather: Mid 60’s with cloudy skies

I was glad to walk with my wife today.  The over-abundance of steps over the past few days made a long walk today optional.  I would have been glad to walk right after church.  To get the chance to walk with my wife, I left my schedule open to her inner inklings.  She said, “Yes, to the walk.” around 1:00.  We felt a few sprinkles as we wondered purposefully through our neighborhood.  I asked about this; she asked about that.  As we neared the end of the walk, we realized the walk either started 10 minutes too late OR we missed our last shortcut.  The sprinkles became completely undodgeable as I broke into a brisk walk. My wife just covered her head and walked it out.  We finished the walk together.  As I am writing this, I am quite grateful we didn’t wait until now to walk–it is pouring out!

Today’s Walk 1.022

When:  Mid-aftenoon, 1/20/2018
Weather: Upper 60’s with blue skies

Absolutely spectacular day to walk.  After walking while doing overtime at work today, I took a deliberate walk after getting home.  I got to wear shorts and everything.  As I was nearing the house, my wife started her walk.  So, I walked another couple miles with her.

  • Boy On A Bike:  As I was preparing to head back toward my house (this is the part of my walk where I rewalk part of my path), a father and his son were preparing to cross the road.  The father was very protective of his little son.  His little son was on a bike with tires barely bigger than a basketball.  The son crossed in the shadow of his father.  The most amazing part to me was the lack of training wheels and the age of the son.  He was probably 3 or 4 years old.  His little bike wobbled more than a seasoned bicyclist. His dad was quite proud of his prodigy.
  • Deer In The Headlights:  Shortly after my encounter with the little bicyclist, there was an impending merging of traffic.  Three bicyclists were coming south with 2 walkers just ahead of them.  As I maintained my pace, the collision appeared more imminent.  Then, the walkers stopped on the bridge to observe the dirty water passing underneath.  The husband was content looking off one side of the bridge.  The wife wanted to look at the other side of the bridge.  She casually turns to visit the other side of the bridge until she looked up and saw the bike.  She froze.  The bike did a dance and the disaster was averted.  As I passed, I mentioned to the female walker, “I wondered how that was going to unfold.” The deer had survived to see headlights again.

Today’s Walk 1.021

When:  Throughout the day, 1/19/2018
Weather: Mid-50’s with blue skies

Because I did over 17,000 steps at work today, I opted NOT to take an additional walk.  What did I do to generate this step count?  I made multiple trips with pallet jacks and dollies to the new location of my work.  (It is within the same warehouse.) Sometimes my role was just a support role–I would make sure the furniture or boxes did not fall off during its journey.  On the unfortunate times when I had to provide the “motor” for the dolly, it was definitely the worst.  The 6-foot shelves easily transported with the jack.  You could use one hand and gently tug.  The real challenge was moving the 8-foot shelves.  Due to the doorways being too narrow to effectively use the pallet jack for them, the dollies were the best options.  Dollies don’t steer well–not well at all.  Pushing the dollies while balancing the shelving was like being a football offensive lineman.  You place your hands on the desk and just drive with the legs.  Making left and right turns is hard and if you get lazy and steer too close to the obstacles (i.e. warehouse racking), you have to correct while trying not to lose momentum.  Once while I was providing the propulsion, I had to tag team the guy who was providing support.  I could not continue to do that to my body.  My body did not appreciate my efforts at all.

The final challenge of the day was moving the server cabinets.  The cabinets just barely fit under the top of the door.  We could use the pallet jack if we were really careful.  At times you had to lean the cabinet back to clear the door top.  Once the door was cleared, the cabinet was righted.  At other times, the cabinet could only make it through the door when the muscles of the nearly 10 people available were used to move them by brute force.  The final challenge was squeezing the computer cabinets into a narrow doorway.  We traded out our standard pallet jack for a narrow one.  We rushed the door, hit the door lip, and peeled off bodies as the door prevented us all following.  The project manager covered his eyes when the computers were jostled within the cabinet.  It was a thoroughly muscle-straining day.  But, it did finish eventually.

The other thing today had nothing to with walking.  On a day in a nice little corner of Ohio 32 years ago, the freezing rain came in abundance.  There was a young father (I say young because I am a few years older than he was) who was coming home from an Army Reserve drill.  He hit the ice when very close to home.  As the car spun, an oncoming car struck the car on the rear passenger side.  The driver of the spinning car, my father, was a victim of a failed driver seat.  The seat did not hold, and he flew into the back seat where his neck struck the rear seat.  I received a dreadful call.  The drive to the hospital confirmed what the telephone call hinted at.  I was now a half orphan.  This happened 32 years ago today.  The space shuttle blowing up a few days later had little impact on my still numbed mind.

Not a normal walk today.  But, life and our memories are the parts of our walk we can share.

Today’s Walk 1.020

When:  Late afternoon
Weather: Mid-40’s with gray skies

What do you do if you are only passed by one bicyclist and you want to write about your observations?  You embellish or you stretch.  And, if really desperate, you make things up.  It would be unfair to write about my walk with a kernel of truth.  So, I will over-emphasize the mundane.  The weather must enjoy changing mid-afternoon.  As it did earlier in the week, I was smiling looking forward to my walk.  After I got home and got back outside, the weather had turned.  Today’s turn was only cloud cover with tolerable temps.  (I saw the cloud front coming as I was driving home.  It still did not motivate me to get back out quickly enough.)

  • Whataburger:  Besides the biker who crossed the intersection incorrectly, the only thing of note was the Whataburger gift card.  The card was flipped upside down laying on the sidewalk.  The status of the card is unknown.  I will pull it out next time I visit one of these Texas gems.  The random things you find when you frequent a certain path.
  • Work Walk:  My work location is moving from one corner of the present warehouse to the other corner.  It would have been great if the forklifts were able to move our equipment and tables, but they weren’t.  So, my coworkers and I took numerous roundtrips of over half a mile wheeling the various shelves using a pallet jack.  When I wasn’t doing roundtrips, I was loading the shelving onto the pallets.  By the end of the workday, I had logged over 15,000 steps.  After my deliberate post-work walking along my walking path, I had over 22,000 steps.  The next two days including Saturday’s overtime promise more heavy step days while on the clock.

Today’s Walk 1.019

When:  Late afternoon
Weather: Blue skies with mid-30’s

  • Frogger:  My walk is virtually all sidewalks or walking along the side of the road.  I cross one road twice.  Usually, it is pretty easy to cross the road.  Somedays, it is reminiscent of the old Frogger game.  I had to time both of my crossings today.  I was just dodging cars.  There were no logs or streams.
  • Running dog:  After playing Frogger the second time, I heard a likely jogger coming behind me.  Not only was it a jogger, but she had her dog.  I moved to the grass to allow her to more easily maintain her jogging speed.  She did give me a “thank you” after she passed.  I think her dog was wrestling with the leash.  Her running speed was erratic as she ran/pulled the dog along with her.
  • Lost car:  As I was walking out of Walmart, I was easily finding my car.  Problems in the past have forced me to be very deliberate in remembering where I park.  As I neared my car, I looked to the right and saw the a cart with a driver wearing the “look”.  Can I call it Wandering Eye Movement (WEM)?  As the lost driver was walking between rows of cars, the head was making near frantic movements trying to find her car–the car wasn’t lost; it knew right where it was.  Apparently, the remote trick was not working OR she was so far from being in the correct row, the remote did not have a chance.  My shout to her of “I hate that.” did not seem to impress.  She was still wandering the lot as I drove off.

Today’s Walk 1.018

When:  Late afternoon
Weather: Freezing with a stiff wind

It is very difficult to write something based on observations when there is very little to observe.  The cold made me reduce my walk length.  I considered shortening it even more in the middle.  It was bitter cold.  Those who chose NOT to walk are likely far wiser than I.

  • Am I in Russia?:  One person, i work with used to study in Russia.  After going out to his car today, he came back in saying, “It is as cold as Russia out there.”  Never having been to Russia in the winter time, I will have to trust him.  Compared to the normal Texas winter, it could easily be Russia from where I sit huddles with a blankie tonight.
  • Bad weather distraction:  My daughter was called Sunday to babysit Tuesday night.  Since then, we were told by every TV station how bad the weather would be Monday night.  When the weather did not deliver, my daughter’s brain remained frozen regarding her babysitting appointment. When she received a text from her occasional employer looking forward to seeing her in a few minutes, my daughter went into “blur” mode.  We could barely focus on her as she grabbed something quick to eat before hopping into the car.  She made it back home less than 3 hours later.  Her role was to provide coverage as both parents had separate commitments.  She came home pleased with her hourly wage.  She is not allowed to be this old yet!