A sunny weekend -- 06/09/02

This has been a very relaxing weekend. I've been very busy, very physically active, but things have been low-stress, low-key, relaxed.

I rented a DVD Friday night -- Ocean's Eleven -- the new one, of course, with George Clooney, not the old Frank Sinatra one. I suppose it was worth watching. I thought that it had its amusing or entertaining moments and (although a lot of years have passed since I saw the original) it was probably an improvement. Nancy would give it a higher rating, she seemed to be better able to get into the mood for it; the solution, for example, to the problem of how to get the stolen loot out of the casino brought a grin to my face but made Nancy laugh out loud. It's true that they had a talented cast, but other than Clooney, Pitt and Garcia, these other roles were too small to properly display that talent. Carl Reiner, for example, was marvelous, but deserved much more screen time. (As far as Clooney films go, I often wonder just why he has been given those star roles, but I think Brother Where Art Thou was his best. I guess I'm just not impressed by him as an actor.)

Saturday morning I ran in a 5k race. The race began and ended at Narragansett High School -- which is also the site for the start of the Narragansett Blessing of the Fleet 10 Mile Run -- and it felt good to know that I only had to run just a bit over three miles rather than ten miles. This was my first race since the March Hare Hop back on March 3rd... and also my first race since the worst of my foot problems (bunion on left foot and heel pain on right) seem to have subsided and I've begun working out with some degree of regularity. I've been averaging three runs each week in the two to four mile range since back around my birthday and it seemed to me that I could feel some improvement in my legs. I felt good running the race, never pushing myself in some intense maximum effort, but using the race setting to push myself just a bit harder than I would on an exercise jog along the bike path. I finished in 26:20 (an 8:30 per mile pace) which really pleased me. It means I am getting back into condition and have a decent shot at getting to an eight minute pace (although never back down to the seven minute pace I could do once-upon-a-time -- i.e., I once finished a 5k at a 6:59 pace) and makes me think I may have a good run in the annual Camire's Firecracker Four (a four mile race) coming up on June 30th.

My daughter says she's going to start training so she can run in a four mile race in early August... that could be like the days when she was a young teen and we used to run together in several races each year. I'm really looking forward to that.

Saturday afternoon was spent in yard chores, working in my vegetable garden and doing a little bit on our major front yard landscaping project. We went to Nancy's mother's house for dinner (bringing wine and salad); Nancy's sister and her family (who live across the street) were there but none of the out-of-state siblings were visiting this week. On the way home we were listening to Says You, the radio game show featuring battles of wits over the meaning of words -- a program we've enjoyed for years -- and one of the words was titivate (it means to spruce up, to make decorative additions, to dress up the clothes one is wearing) and the next day Nancy was reading a novel and came upon that word.

Sunday morning Nancy and I went for a bike ride... we followed the bike path towards town until we came to the end of the existing path and the start of the under-construction addition that will go all the way through the village of Wakefield. South Kingstown has a lot of very nice parks; we discovered that the town is adding a little park right next to the bike path, just before its current termination at the edge of the hamlet of Peace Dale, looks like it will have swings and a playground, a few benches and perhaps a sandbox. I wanted to see how far we could get but Nancy didn't want to swap pavement for dirt, so we turned around and rode back, continuing on until not quite a mile before the bike path ends at the Kingston train station, then turned again and rode back home, with a short detour through the park behind the middle school. My new odometer was not working so I checked it out when we got home and discovered that the sensor was not aligned properly -- I must have knocked it when I brought it home on a bike rack on my car -- but it just took a simple adjustment and it began working fine.

I put in a short session with weights in the basement before fixing lunch, then headed off to town to run various errands. I picked up some wood stakes for my tomatoes, etc. and a six pack of parsley to plant. When I got home I pounded some of the stakes into the ground by the larger of my tomato plants and also by my peas (and then tied a couple of bamboo poles across for the peas to climb on), planted the parsley, etc.... and then put in some time on the front yard. By the time I got around to taking a shower I was pretty tired, but I did get involved in fixing dinner -- rice, plus three different things to go with it, Indian style chicken with sweet peppers in a coconut sauce, a semi-vegetarian curry (I did toss in a few pieces of chicken), and a vaguely Thai chicken peanut satay. (I've been having fun playing with sort-of Indian dishes and Nancy seems to have been enjoying eating them (although I think I made the curry a little too hot for her). (Sean was at a celebration for a friend who had just been awarded the rank of Eagle Scout and Jennifer was at a friend's birthday party.)

Blue skies, white fluffy clouds, light breezes, warm sunshine, afternoon highs in the low seventies. Do that two days in a row. Make them weekend days. Ahhhhh......

Gaspee Day celebrations in Rhode Island: on June 9, 1772 Rhode Island had its own version of the Boston Tea Party when Rhode Islanders, annoyed by the excessively zealous enforcement activities carried out by Lt. William Dudingston, commander of His Majesty's Customs Sloop Gaspee, set fire to the British ship.

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