Fortunes to Close Out the Year

I’m in the midst of a two-week staycation. Part of my time off is devoted to getting some of my things around the house in order. I cleaned out an entire box of things that mostly need to be recycled, and I happened upon a few fortunes from fortune cookies. In reading them, I thought they offered a nice bit of guidance as I move from 2019 into 2020, so I thought I’d share them with you, too.

“You are the center of every group attention.” — Okay, so this is less guidance and more a statement that may or may not be true. That said, if I am truly “the center of every group attention,” I should probably make sure I use that for the betterment of others.

“Your dearest wish will come true.” — I’m not even sure that I have a “dearest wish”; however, I suppose I’ll have to come up with something that I’d like to have happen. Goals are good, and there are definitely some things I’d like to accomplish in 2020.

“Keep your feet on the ground even though friends flatter you.” — Now this is good guidance. No matter how good people may tell me I am at something, I don’t want to let convince me that I don’t need to work hard at the things I want to accomplish.

“People are attracted to your inventive and intuitive mind.” — So, I generally don’t think I’m particularly inventive, and the situation often determines whether I’m intuitive. That said, I should look for new and better ways to focus my mental energy to allow me to build new opportunities for myself and for others.

If you can get anything out of that, I’ll be quite happy for you. Happy New Year, everyone!

PS: Your lucky numbers are 22, 34, 15, 17, 2, 59 … or maybe 5, 18, 26, 10, 32, 45 … or 4, 7, 34, 22, 50, 32 … or they could even be 5, 18, 26, 10, 32, 45. Who can know these things?

Committed

The Team Playmakers post-season celebration took place tonight. It was a great opportunity to hang with my teammates and our team leadership to honor our runners’ successes this season. It was a great night of celebrating everyone’s accomplishments, and I enjoyed highlighting the runners on the team I co-led. That said, I am far from interested in celebrating anything I accomplished this summer and fall, because I didn’t work nearly as hard as I should have, and my results reflected that.

So, tomorrow, the new season starts. I’m already registered for my spring target races, but they’re not really important. The only part that really matters is my training, and being more focused on it.

It’s time to commit to The Process.

Road Trip: Southeastern US, 2018 – Part 1

My wife and I had some time in May to take a little road trip to see our respective sets of parents. We didn’t have a lot of time because of work and other commitments on our respective schedules, so if you’re in the areas we visited and wondering why we didn’t make social calls, that’s why. Anyway, we hit a few states over a little more than a week.

The trip south was a two-day affair. We stopped in Vandalia, Ohio, for dinner, thus allowing much of the rush-hour traffic in Cincinnati to clear out. I found this nifty American Legion hall sign.

We did the overnight in Lexington, Kentucky, at a Courtyard. This particular Courtyard actually had a courtyard, and the courtyard had some seasonal residents.

Seriously good work by the staff at the Courtyard.

Our second travel day saw us take a break in Gadsden, Alabama, so that I could try to catch as many Charmanders as possible on Pokémon GO Community Day. (I don’t remember my total haul, but I did catch six shiny Charmanders, so it was a good day.) Along the way, I managed to snag a few photos, some of which I’ll share here.

I love these old-school, Coke-sponsored signs.

The front of the buildings is here, but the back has departed for the great downtown in the sky.

What a lovely post office!

Vintage neon!

Anniston and Oxford offered some fun scenery. The stuff that I found on the run will find its way into a What I See When I Run post. As for the rest, … well, here ya go.

I can’t wait to see what the Anniston Runners Club offices look like when they’re completed.

This old service station would be majestic with a little TLC.

After a few days in Alabama, the trip shifted to North Carolina. Those photos are coming soon.

What I See When I Run: Anniston/Oxford

While on vacation in May, I did lots of running. Here are some of the best things I saw in Anniston and Oxford, Alabama.

This is such a beautiful, historic building.

Ty Cobb spent some time in Anniston. I’m sure some folks will dispute the “greatest baseball player of all time” designation, but he was definitely very good.

The dogs hanging out at Piper’s Playhouse were very happy to say hello when I ran by. And when I stopped. And probably any other time.

There are so many ducklings here!

I lived in Calhoun County for many years, but I had never before seen this creek, or drain, or whatever it is.

Road Trip: Indiana, 2018

I like to run distance races. I used to run marathons, but my marathon-runner sports medicine doctor advised me that I wasn’t doing that any more after my last one in 2015; it was apparently a bad thing that my right knee sounded crunchy for six weeks after the race. Half marathons aren’t banned, and I haven’t had that kind of problem after one of those, so I run them.

Sometimes, I run more than one a weekend. In 2015 and 2016, I completed the Midwest Half and Half Challenge by running both the Wisconsin Half Marathon and the Borgess Run for the Health of It in the same weekend. In 2017, I missed the event due to my ongoing recovery from my 2016 ankle surgery, but I returned to the event in 2018.

I didn’t snap many photos in Kalamazoo, because I’ve spent years there. I hadn’t been to Bloomington or Indianapolis, though, so photographs were required. I have family-level friends in Bloomington, so my trip started early enough to allow me to hang out with them.

The real queen of the house in Bloomington is Pearl. She’s a lovely gray-and-white cat with lots of attitude and a solid vocabulary. Pearl is amazing, and here she is:

Bloomington has a lot of great eats and fun places to go. Here are a few of my favorites from the trip.

The Owlery in Bloomington has legit vegetarian poutine, and it is delicious.

This bridge carries the B Line Trail over 3rd Street.

This coffee shop is both excellent and located right along the B Line.

Look at this beauty of an espresso machine! The folks at Hopscotch couldn’t bring themselves to part with it.

Bloomington was fun, and seeing my friends was even more fun, but I had to move on to Indianapolis for race day #1. I didn’t get around much, given that I had a race the next morning, but I had some great views from my hotel room.

White River State Park

All in all, it was a great trip, and I can’t wait until my next visit to both cities.

What I See When I Run: Bloomington, Indiana

When I was in Bloomington the morning before the Indy Mini, I got in my standard day-before-the-race, 3-mile run. Bloomington’s B Line Trail is a beautiful, vibrant portion of the community. There are both residences and businesses that face the trail. I snapped a couple of photos along the way.

It’s my favorite number!

The Month in Cats: April 2018

This update is late, but whatever.

Gobo loves shoes and feet and smelly things. He’s so weird.

Gobo also loves the heat vent. Maybe he’s not so weird.

Apparently, Wembley decided to hang out by the bathroom door while I showered. When I opened the door, this scene greeted me.

Wembley is overly dramatic.

Wembley also likes to see if his dramatic reactions have any effect.

Wembley is round, y’all. He’s been on a diet, and it’s had some positive effects, but it’s still a work in progress.

Sleepy kitty.

Look at all those toes!

Cats don’t need two eyes to be awesome cats.

The eye of the Ursula is upon you.

She’s a little round.

Found Fortune

In cleaning out my wallet, I found a long-lost “fortune” from a fortune cookie. Along with my lucky numbers* and the Chinese word that I could learn, it offered me this:

Friends long absent are coming back to you.

I’m kind of curious as to who it might be, and under what circumstances they might be returning. I’m also open to suggestions. In the interim, I leave you with this:

* About those lucky numbers. Yeah, I’m not telling you what those are. Why should I share the fortune with you? Wait. Maybe that’s why my long-lost friends are coming back. Moochers.

Also, yes, I deliberately used those quotation marks around “fortune.” Most of them are platitudes, so I am very reluctant to apply the word “fortune” literally.

Old Photographs: Mostly Cats, Plus Some Other Things

I’m continuing to work my way through photos from the last few years, rediscovering some fun moments, attractive scenes, and my cats. Enjoy!

I would say that Wembley was surveying his domain, but he’s not really brave enough to hold territory.

Spice Girls lyrics always make me happy. Don’t judge.

Ursula works hard to keep up her appearance.

Gobo always has such a serious look about him.

When we lived in Marshall, Wembley loved that spot on the stairs.

Running in Lansing often offers wonderful views.