What we have here is...     08/23/05

To paraphrase Strother Martin's classic line from Cool Hand Luke:
               What we have here is a failure to update.

My bad.

Just been busy, one thing leads to the next, busy during the day, fix dinner, eat dinner, it becomes late, it becomes too late to sit down and write something, today becomes tomorrow, morning becomes electra... okay, wandering off into free association land here...

So what have I been doing since I posted my last entry with those Blessing of the Fleet pictures? Working, goofing off, doing a little bit of running, reading, watching Six Feet Under... (Wow, not much to say about the last few episodes of that -- don't want to post spoilers for people who have not seen them -- but they are really good -- I felt drained last night after watching the final episode of the show, really exhausting.)

We had some very hot and very humid weather during much of that silent period and I think I just melted down and did not have the energy to update.

What we have not had is any rain... which is a bit annoying. It's not that I want to have Seattle weather (hey, I lived in the Binghamton, NY, area for years -- I've had more than my share of cloudy skies and rainy days) but it's really a bit much to have hot and humid weather combined with a significant lack of rain. That does sound a bit contradictory, doesn't it? We've still not had any meaningful rain -- thunderstorms come through, but only a few towns actually have had real rain -- we've lost electricity but not had rain -- and the rain we have had, has only lasted for a few minutes. Thus, most people's lawns have that August sound when you walk on them (crunch, crunch, crunch).

Jill has been having some asthma-like problems. It started a couple of weeks ago when she and Eli were at the rock climbing gym (this is one of their favorite sports) -- Jill breathed in a lot of chalk dust (they chalk their hands before climbing in order to have a good grip for climbing -- she left early then phoned us because she was having difficulty breathing and was choking (and probably hyper-ventilating, which just made things worse) so we told her to stop at the nearest emergency room (which happened to be the same hospital where she had her tonsils out just before Christmas. (One thing we have now learned is that apparently people with asthma seem to have more asthma problems following a tonsillectomy.) The hospital checked her out and said her lungs appeared to be clear (i.e., no pneumonia, no fluid in lungs) and discharged her with the suggestion to see her doctor. Her doctor has some tests she wants her to take. Meanwhile, she seemed to have a breathing problem at work a few nights later and her manager was so concerned that she drove her home. Jill is now convinced that it was the chalk dust and says she feels much better and wants to get back to running and hiking, etc. She does agree, however, that it would still be a good idea to take the various tests her doctor wants her to have and then maybe get referred on to a respiratory specialist.
In the meanwhile... remember how she used to color her hair various strong shades -- usually red, but it has also been black and purple and blue. After years of having an assortment of hair colors, for the past year or so she was wearing her hair in its natural color, but this past weekend she decided to go back to bright colors. This was what her hair looked like a couple of days ago as she was on her way to work. She is very pleased with it.

We had been talking about taking another hike in the Catskill Mountains sometime this summer (we did Mt. Wiittenberg back in 1998 and Slide Mountain in 2000) but then put it off because who wants to have a breathing problem a couple of hours along a mountain trail...
If we do go hiking in the Catskills this year, it will probably be in late September or early October. I need to get a new pair of hiking boots (and break them in) and I also need to get in a bit of hill practice. I don't think I'm in bad shape right now, but it would still be a good idea do a bit of more specific practice. Jill and Eli and a friend of theirs hiked Mt. Washington early this summer -- for those of you who aren't familiar with it, Mt. Washington is the highest peak in the northeastern U.S. and is considered to have the worst weather you could imagine. (Warning signs at the start of the various hiking trails caution that it is extremely dangerous, many people have died from exposure while attempting to hike Mt. Washington, even in the summer and that hikers should turn back if the weather looks threatening.)

Jeremy was camping up in the White Mountains last week. He and his friends did some mountain hiking one day and he enjoyed it and he might be interested in coming with us on a hike.

A couple of weeks ago I ran in a four mile race and was reasonably pleased with the results... not a fast time, but almost two minutes (1:57) faster than last year. And meanwhile, there's about two and a half weeks until the CVS Downtown 5K -- so I suppose I should load this to the Web and get out for a run before dinner (even though it is now past 6pm, Nancy and Jill are about to go blueberry picking, so I've got time).

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