A health and fitness blog: With an occasional food item

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Modern-day miracle

Did y'all see this?
I can't imagine being this woman's husband. Or the woman who came back to life, for that matter.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Back to the salt mine

Tomorrow it's back to work. At least for a couple of days.
Where did the time go?
The big news of the day is we got a new vacuum cleaner. A Eureka Optima. It seems our former vacuum wasn't doing the job, and after I went through the house with the new one, I had to empty out the cartridge after each room. It's not a huge house. I know we have a cat and all, but geez. I think we could have made another cat with all the hair and dust it picked up.
Just wishing it came with a manual to teach one's cat (or dog) to earn his keep.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Newsweek: The interview issue

Here are some really interesting interviews from the current Newsweek.
Among them: Hillary Clinton and Henry Kissinger; Gen. David Patraeus; Timothy Geithner; and Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota.
In his column, Newsweek editor Jon Meacham pulls a quote from John F. Kennedy: "What makes journalism so fascinating and biography so interesting is the struggle to answer that single question: 'What's he like?' "

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

From our house to yours.

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home.
~Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, 1836

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas reading ideas?

Anyone have a favorite book to share?
I've got some days off coming up (yay) and need suggestions.
Here are the categories I generally don't like: mysteries and/or thrillers. Pretty much anything else is fair game, especially non-fiction (social sciences, politics); biographies; theology; and tales of adventure.
What about you?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Can men and women be friends?

Somehow I was just thinking about this scene from one of my favorite movies, "WHen Harry Met Sally."
So. What do you think? Can men and women be "just friends?"
I say it CAN work--but not always.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Keillor: On Christmas

Hope you're all making it through the week OK and you womenfolk aren't having to get your, ahems, re-checked. (See post below)
Here, writer and radio host Garrison Keillor is his usual funny and descriptive self about Christmas.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Agassi: Open

Tennis great Andre Agassi has a new book out, which has reviewers raving. Rick Reilly, for one, praises it for the honest accounting of Agassi's life to date. How Agassi was chained to the tennis machine by an overbearing father, and how he dabbled in drugs but grew into one who embraced the game. (As well as a person who uses his fortune for good, in this case helping kids.)
"Open" is written with Pulitzer Prize winner J.R. Moehringer.
Might make a good Christmas gift for the tennis nuts in your life.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Off furlough

I just came back to work from furlough. Look out, haha.
It wasn't so bad. The money part will stink, of course, but it was nice to be off. I called it a stay-lough because I didn't go anywhere. Just caught up on some reading and we went to see Michael's dad in Atlanta yesterday.
Here's an interesting article I came across while reading.
And, a tip: There is some great people-watching in Starbucks, in case you're inclined to spend an extended period there. Most any Starbucks will do. (One exception: This guy plopped down in an easy chair next to me the other day. Didn't say hello or anything, just started in on the great game Alabama played against Florida. I listened as if interested. Finally he said, "You're not a Florida fan, are you?" And I smiled and said, "If I were, I wouldn't tell YOU.")

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Holiday book: 'Yours Ever'

This recent review in the New York Times Book Review offers what they say is an elegy to letter-writing. ("Yours Ever: People and Their Letters" by Thomas Mallon; Pantheon Books, $26.95)
Right up my alley. What did people do before email? Wrote on actual paper. Licked an envelope. Put on a stamp.
Imagine the old-fashioned-ness of it all.
Believe me, I'm a fan of email. But I miss those days. I do try and keep up this practice because, as "Yours Ever" makes plain, there's an intimacy and connection missing from electronic versions.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Highly recommended

Joe Posnanski blog.
Joe, a former colleague, is a senior writer with Sports Illustrated. Hard to believe either of us would be old enough to be called "senior" of anything. But there you go.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Waiting for the dawn

Though this has an Advent theme (and thus, closer to my day job than the blogging part of my job), it's still pertinent to anyone who can't seem to find light.
The light will come.
Hope everyone has had a stellar weekend.

"What to do in the darkness"

Go slowly
Consent to it
But don't wallow in it
Know it as a place of germination
And growth
Remember the light
Take an outstreched hand if you find one
Exercise unused senses
Find the path by walking it
Practice trust
Watch for dawn
--Marilyn Chandler McEntyre

Friday, December 4, 2009

'I'm a happier neurotic mess'

Here's an interesting interview with Julie Powell, author of "Julie and Julia" and now her new memoir, "Cleaving: A Book of Marriage, Meat and Obsession."
What a title.
In a rough spot in her marriage, Powell worked at a butcher shop in New York. Though I've not read "Cleaving," I understand--based on the interview--that Powell took that experience to work on her marriage and herself. If nothing else, it gave her focus.
"I'm a happier neurotic mess" is the way she describes herself these days. (And raise your hand if you can relate.)
The butcher shop setting reminds me of a funny tale from one of our local butcheries. Michael went up there one day and ordered a pound of whatever. (It doesn't matter.) And the butcher grabbed what he thought was a pound and put it on the scale. It came out exact, and he was quite pleased with himself. His boss, the shop owner, said: "Son, you're weighing meat; you're not landing the space shuttle."

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Just Passin' Through

My love of all things Appalachian Trail drew me to this book at a north Georgia outfitters last Sunday. During my most recent journey into the woods and fog (see earlier post), I stopped in Dahlonega at the outfitters' for some hiking socks. Also found the book and have almost finished it. Author Winton Porter runs the Walasyi-Yi (Mountain Crossings) store on a remote stretch of two-lane highway between Dahlonega and Blairsville. I've been there countless times, as it's at the foot of Blood Mountain on the A.T.
Great store. Great book. Enjoy.



The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
-- Carl Sandburg

I took this shot Monday while driving over Fort Mountain in north Georgia. It's amazing how fast fog moves in. We rarely see it here in the flatlands, so it's kind of cool when I can see it again. Driving through it can be another story. At one point I had to turn on the emergency flashers, with all the twisting and turning roads.