Saturday, February 29, 2020

Leap Day

Waxing Crescent Moon

Hopefully, you went outside to see Venus hanging out right next to the crescent Moon this week. Awesome! No photos available here. They all came out looking like grainy blurry licorice soup or crushed Cheerios in a bowl of motor oil. Kinda kills the whole lunar romance thing. Here'a picture of Thursday's sunrise instead.

The 2020 in 2020 Challenge is on schedule and on pace at 5.5 miles per day, 160 miles in February, and 332 total miles so far. I definitely would prefer to hike somewhere new each day, but I am making do with a trip to Morgan Hill and the Coyote Creek bike path last week and to Moss Landing State Beach this week.

The beach day was completely perfect. I met my old walking pal and veteran trash picker upper Mike Carroll (aka Captain Chem) for breakfast at the Moss Landing Cafe on Highway 1. Then we set out for a couple of hours of pounding the sand in sunny t-shirt and shorts conditions.The surf was pretty good and for the most part, the beach was clean.

Mike scooped up two renegade Mylar party balloons rolling around in the foaming surf outwash, popped them, and carried them the whole way to the parking lot trash can. Enhanced Eco-Hero status kudos to Captain Chem! I took a photo of him holding the first balloon without telling him I would soon use it on the world wide web. 

This could start a whole new career for Mike in his old age as a  Senior Environmental Hand Model (Seinfeld fans might recall that episode when George Costanza had a brief stint as a hand model - hilarious!). Mike is also doing a version of the 2020 in 2020 Challenge, using a Fit Bit he got for Christmas to chart his steps each day. He  will easily meet the challenge if he keeps up his daily beach jaunts in Seacliff and his walks with the mysterious sentient being known in some circles as Nacho the Skandhas Buddhist Chihuahua.

I stayed at the beach for a while to walk some more and see what I could see, hoping to spot a whale ('tis the season, I believe, although the water temperatures may be abnormal). I had to settle for a couple of extra miles and a dead crab shadow shot. This is weird! The crab is dead, but the shadow looks alive!

There were a couple of dozen snoozing harbor seals near the marina, no pelicans (??), a few otters playing in the surf, a few other walkers, several human surfers, and a handful of fishermen, but no whales and no pelicans. Better luck next time. I'll be back. Adios, mi amante.

Peace, Love, and Happy Hiking,

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Don't Look Back Look Back Look Back

Full Moon

It was almost exactly one year ago when I jammed my knee rather drastically while slipping on ice in a bouldery Arizona canyon. I figured that a little rest would return everything to normal in the creaky inner workings of said knee. Well, not really, but I have successfully deceived myself thus far into taking the position that I don't need to see a doctor and some day everything will be magically healed. The fake-ass power of positive thinking! Also, one day I shall win Lotto.

I would absolutely love to go back to where I left off on the AZT and ramble for a month or two, but so far, I have resisted that notion and I am focused on my 2020 in 2020 Challenge. It's going well, which is dangerous because it makes me think I can do more...geez!

Just like I knew I would, I am getting Spring Fever way early this year. The sunny, shorts-and-tee-shirt, afternoon weather here is making me frisky every day, right up until the Sun goes down and the temperature plummets to near freezing. That cools my fever in a hurry - just stick with the day hikes, Jim. And don't look back look back look back.

Peace, Love, and the Present Fantasy,

Sunday, February 2, 2020

2020 in 2020 Update

Waxing Gibbous Moon

As of the end of January, I was right on schedule for my 2020 in 2020 Challenge with 172 miles in 31 days. I hope you are, too, if you decided to participate. I am finding it to be fun, not too strenuous, and only moderately time-consuming. What is working for me so far is to mix up my routes and do hillier walks on dirt trails in between days of flatter asphalt road walks. I take a lot of pictures with my phone, mostly to keep my mind from wandering too much. Staying in the present is a good hobby.

I can tell that a wider variety, i.e. more changes of scenery, will be necessary to keep the project interesting. However, I also challenged myself to spending only fifty dollars a month on gas this year, so that kind of restricts the number of trips to the mountains and the beach. This year reeks of self-discipline!

Instead of watching the Super Bowl today, I hiked part of the sunny, breezy, and cool afternoon on the Juan Bautista De Anza National Historical Trail a short distance from my camp. From the trail head to the trail crest is 2.7 miles with a pretty decent elevation gain, so round trip is right where I need to be for a daily walk. The Pampas grass (non-native) looks pretty cool on days like this one.

There were only a few other hikers out there, making it Super Silent Sunday, which brought out more animals. I saw one bushy-tailed coyote and seven Cooper's hawks on the way up. The way down was rudely interrupted by two vaqueros on horseback playing oompa music over some very loud speakers while drinking cans of Modelo. Whaaat? So much for the wildlife sightings.

Anyway, the consistent, moderate walking is probably good for me and not that hard on my bum knee. Once the weather warms up, I might mix in some bicycle rides, too, to provide some needed variety. This Exercise Equivalent Chart from the University of Maryland Extension might come in handy if you want to "cross train" 2020 in 2020.

Exercise Equivalents

Walking, stroll (2 mph) 30 minutes = 1 mile
Walking, typical pace (3 mph) 30 minutes = 1.5 miles
Walking, brisk (4 mph) 30 minutes = 2 miles
Running (5.5 mph) 1 mile = 1 mile
Cycling/Biking (13 mph) 7 miles = 1 mile
Spinning 30 minutes = 2 miles
Aerobics (moderate intensity) 30 minutes = 1 mile
Stairmaster (moderate intensity) 15 minutes = 1 mile
Roller Blading 3 miles = 1 mile
Swimming (30 yards/min) 1 mile = 1 mile
Gardening, digging 30 minutes = 2.5 miles
Gardening, push mowing 30 minutes = 2.25 miles
Gardening, raking 30 minutes = 1 mile
Gardening, planting 30 minutes = 1.5 miles
Dancing, moderate to rapid 20 minutes = 1 mile
Any activity/exercise that makes you breathe hard and sweat. 20 minutes = 1 mile
Any activity/exercise that makes you breathe very hard and perspire heavily. 15 minutes = 1 mile

Peace, Love, Play Hard, and Have Fun,

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Super Bowl Alternatives

First Quarter Moon

There are better ways to spend a Sunday than to wrap yourself in The Flag, memorize commercials, agonize over instant replays, and bloat your belly with junk food/alcohol. You could actually think for yourself. You could do what is best for your own self-interest. You could bike your favorite bike trail. Or hike at the nearest National or State Park. Or hit the beach with the kids. Or crochet something cute for your nieces. You could ski. could immerse yourself in what is indisputably the greatest B movie series in cinematic history - you could binge watch all six of the Tremors movies. Not only will you be thoroughly (down to the cellular level) entertained, educated, and stimulated, you will prepare yourself for the imminent release of Tremors 7, slithering, stomping, and plowing soon toward (obscure) theaters near you.

Big Plus: there are gratuitous references to geology, geologists, and paleontology.

Listen, you can keep your Star Wars and Star Trek and Batman movies. They are fundamentally flawed, dishonest B movies with giant budgets and kitschy gear promos. Tremors fans know truly, honestly, absurd-in-the-best-way, tongue-in-the-cheek, Heroic Cultural Parody when they see it. They know that Earl Bassett (Fred Ward) is a God/Legend and that Burt Gummer (Michael Gross) is the Powderfinger King of the Deplorables.

The one and only Fred Ward, RIP.

Michael Gross, postmodern praying-for-the-Apocalypse American hero. Whatever.
For your convenience and for your Sunday fun, in your own self-improvement best interests, I have compiled a preview list of trailers for each of the six previously released Tremors movies and (teaser warning) Tremors 7. The SciFi channel had a Tremors marathon two weekends ago. I pray you recorded them. BUT, I am sure you can find each movie with ease on the interwebs. AND/OR, if you become as humbled and devoted a fan as millions of the rest of us, you can purchase all of them online in DVD or Blue Ray, whatever the hell that is, from your friendly Zombizon botperson.

Prepare to fall in love. This will change your life and possibly eliminate that phony little ad-hook that leads you around by the holiday nose all the time. Welcome to Perfection.

Click on the franchise poster captions to view each trailer.

Tremors 1
Why Kevin Bacon got top billing on the above poster I will never understand. Fred Ward is the indomitable star.

Tremors 2: Aftershocks