I have been paying more attention to my dreams lately. Last night I dreamt that I was a prisoner of four years, who hadn’t even been charged with anything yet.
So today, I will write a letter to a prisoner.
Prison is a really, really awful place. From Wikipedia:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) 7,225,800 people at yearend 2009 were on probation, in jail or prison, or on parole â€” about 3.1% of adults in the U.S. resident population. 2,297,400 were incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails. The U.S. incarceration rate was 748 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents, or 0.75%. The USA has the highest total documented prison and jail population in the world.
NPR recently did a story on prison towns. While they were critical of the idea of basing a town’s economy on a prison, they still stated the facts of the system a bit too matter-of-factly. They presented the story in such a way that we should feel sorry for the towns whose economies are being hurt by a drop in the prisoner population due to a recent drop in crime.
We have to remember that these are human beings, and they are being locked in cages for years at a time. Many of the folks in prison are there for drug offenses, which should be treated as the addiction that it is, not as a crime.
If we lived in a decent society, prisons would be one of many issues that we just wouldn’t stand for. We would say, OK, if you politicians aren’t going to fix the problem for us, then we’re going to march en masse to the local prison and tear the damn thing down.
But, the least I can do is write a letter. So that’s what I’ll do today.
Sometimes Twitter just doesn’t cut it… it’s not worth it to try to fit everything in 140 characters.
Mags and I have date morning this morning. We are going to start it off by going to Mission Dolores, which is the oldest building in San Francisco, built in 1776. It also contains the only cemetery in San Francisco, where even many native Ohlone people are buried. Almost everyone else that dies in San Francisco is buried in Colma. Mission Dolores is a Catholic church.
After that we are going to local restaurant Pomelo for brunch. Yum yum!
I hope everyone has been having a fun weekend!
Mags and I make smoothies somewhat regularly. This morning I made one of the best ones I’ve made so far. Here’s the inexact recipe:
about two cups of blueberries. I used frozen.
a couple of scoops of protein powder
about a half cup of dry uncooked oatmeal
about a cup or two of milk. I used almond milk.
Blend for a couple of minutes and enjoy.
Well, I haven’t lost any weight. But I’m not particularly concerned about it just yet. The reason is that I feel like I have been taking care of myself physically.
Peter-man and I have been doing daily push-ups, and we had a contest on Sunday to see who could do the most in one day. I got 500! I definitely couldn’t have done that a few weeks ago, especially considering that I wasn’t sore the next day.
I got a new cheap digital watch for Christmas, and I have been using it during my runs. It made me realize that my standard run was shorter in time (and distance, it turned out) than I thought it was. So this morning I decided to run out thirty minutes before turning around. Here was my route:
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I set out at 6:30am, when it was dark, so I got to see the absolutely beautiful sun rise, and the cityscape as well, from atop Diamond Heights.
I was getting frustrated by a recent slew of minor injuries. Minor ankle sprain thing, minor ab strain thing, minor knee hurty thing. But this time instead of just resting to cure the injuries, which is also important, I have asked for Mags’s help in giving me physical therapy to do for injury recovery as well as injury prevention. And I have been sticking with the PT routine pretty well.
So, adding all of that up, I feel pretty good, even though I’m not dropping the pounds yet.
I think my body is better adjusted to the exercise after this three-and-a-half weeks, so I can hopefully expect to be injured less often as well as be able to do more. I feel confident that, given the time and motivation, my body will allow me to complete a ten-mile run. Maybe this weekend?
I was feeling a bit restless and needing to get out of the office today, so I took the afternoon off.
After picking up a book from the library and doing some reading while eating lunch outside in front of Canyon Market, I headed home. It was a beautiful day today.
I brought the book into my bedroom and continued reading. And while I’ve been looking forward to reading this book for a while, there were two problems: The book was a little bit depressing (I’d be surprised if it wasn’t) and I wasn’t outside. I knew I’d kick myself if I finished the day without getting outside for a significant amount of time. I walked out to the living room and sat by the open window. I looked outside and felt a mild sense of melancholy wash over me as all I saw outside were houses, and houses, and more houses. I needed to see something other then civilization.
So I headed to Glen Canyon Park on my bike, sans helmet, wind blowing through my hair. I packed light: just my keys, wallet, knife, and bike lock. I left the cell phone at home. Good choice!
My first general thoughts were: wow, beautiful day. It really was. It was the perfect temperature. I locked my bike to a pole along the main path and started hiking up the hill. It was about 3:30 and I wanted to see the sun on its way down from an optimal position. I was cheered by the folks that made eye contact and responded when I said “hello.” After a few short minutes, I got all the way to the top of the hill and found a nice bench to sit down on. I made myself comfortable and laid down.
Then I noticed the constant whir of cars driving along O’Shaughnessy Boulevard. I noticed the noise from the airplanes, and the really annoying noise from some sort of weed whacker in the distance. I was still glad I came, but it definitely soured the experience a bit. I thought, “why can’t we have a peaceful bit of nature right here?” There should be restrictions on noise if it means that one can’t find a bit of nature near their home to relax in.
And then a friend arrived. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a six-inch stalk with purple flowers attached to it disappear into the ground. My interest was piqued. After a couple of minutes I discovered that it was just what I thought it was – a little groundhog or other similar furry guy that lives in holes. Every so often, he would pop his head out of his hole to take another few nibbles of grass. While I was still conscious of the annoying noises of modern civilization, I stopped caring as much while I was observing the little creature just a few feet from me.
Overall, it was an excellent afternoon off of work. And I realized that this park might be even more enjoyable right around the time when the sun comes up – same park but less external noise.
Yesterday, I was out with Mom near her place, returning with her groceries in a City Carshare car. We were waiting to turn left at Monterey and Foerster. All of a sudden, we hear several harried beeps coming from a car across the intersection to our left. We look, and there is a car flying around the corner, out of control. He swerves left, now going west on Monterey. Rather than coming to a stop, he stays on the accelerator, swerving back to the right and very soon runs into a tree.
I quickly pulled into a nearby parking lot, got out, and started running to see if they guy was OK. Unfortunately he had backed up and drove off, car smoking.
His car was smoking so much that I figured the first policeman that saw him would pull him over. I start on my way again, and only a block away I see him again, dirt and grass wedged in his car grill. This time I was able to get his license plate number. I pulled over and called 911. Halfway through my short conversation, I heard sirens.
I am guessing he was caught. It didn’t look like he did too much damage to the tree, but he certainly should be held accountable for reckless driving. Besides that, there was clearly something wrong with him that I am sure he could use help for. Hopefully the police were able to connect him with the help he needs.
After my monster workout a couple of days ago, I am finding it hard to muster up motivation to work out. I think I need two things to succeed:
– no hangovers. Hard to avoid on New Year’s Day, even though I didn’t drink much on NYE.
– early to bed, early to rise. Mags just left for a week this morning for work out of town. This involved going to bed late and waking up early. This shall be fixed tonight! And I’ll still work out tonight, after I feel a bit more “with it.”
Today’s weigh-in: 159.5 lbs.
Goal weight for February 1: 150 lbs.
Pounds I must lose per day to reach this goal: .297
Calorie deficit needed per day: 1,039
Hours on the bike trainer today: 1
Minutes biking on city streets: 50
Minutes running: 43
Miles run: 4
Here is today’s running route:
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Happy New Year!
Our honeymoon is over and so is the holiday visit to the East Coast. In between the two I got some form of the flu that was one of the worst illnesses I have had. It lasted about a week.
With all of this comes a few extra pounds and also some restlessness – the need to move, to feel the cold air, to breathe hard, to be sore. Basically, I need to get back in touch with my body after all of this.
I have stayed pretty fit and healthy ever since I took off about 50 pounds a few years ago. But I never did get all the way to my end goal. So that’s what I’m going to do here, cliche or no.
I don’t have a detailed plan as of yet. But the idea is to exercise as much as I can without injuring myself. I want to run. A lot. And my buddy Peter-man gave me a bicycle trainer. So I can use that when I don’t feel like going out into the weather, or if I have limited time. I can do calisthenics in the garage and also hit up 24-hour fitness. So, I just want to make sure I exercise a lot every day, and within a couple of weeks I may put together a more structured plan based on what I know works.
As far as diet, I want to eat healthy stuff like I usually do, allowing myself the occasional treat. I’ll probably have to set up a set of rules for this so I don’t have a slippery slope problem.
I want a big component of all of this to be data and blogging. I want to track my runs, including their times and their routes. I want to track my weight daily. And I want to take pictures of my progress.
Exciting times! I know I can do it, and I could use all of your encouragement!