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Friday, July 20, 2018

I Promise This Time, I Think

Apologies in advance.  Here comes another tedious blog entry on bicycle riding.

I've said it before.  I'll set a record, and then say "I proved my point.  I will settle back to a comfortable mileage, but still get a good work out."

Last week, I hit 23 and said "That's it."

I just can't help myself.  I pedaled for three hours and 31 miles yesterday morning.  Part of the key was finding a way to make it from my home to downtown Scranton without tackling any major hills.  Mission accomplished.  After tooling around downtown Scranton, I swung onto Main and up in to the mid valley, and then back home.

I was in pain when I finished but as many say, it was a good kind of pain.

Organized sports were never my thing.  Never ever.  Biking is a great way to get some exercise, and if you go early enough, it provides for some alone time.  Quiet time.  Think time.  I have a better understanding for the athlete's mentality-- always pushing for a little more.  By the way, I am NOT a serious athlete.  No Tour de France.  Maybe Tour de Olyphant.

The 31.28 record will stand for a while, I think.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

I'm Tired of It

A new study came out.  Vitamin pills, tablets, capsules, etc. really don't do anything for you.

A former doctor, who passed away several years ago, once told me to take a daily multi and advised to buy the cheapest one, because they were all the same.  This is the same doctor, who I really liked, that diagnosed me with a severe vitamin D deficiency.  I was on prescription supplements for a while, and I eventually stopped taking them.

I should add that a recent check up gave me a clean bill of health.  Results of my blood work showed everything is generally where it is supposed to be.

I do pop a zinc once in a while.  Read up on it.  It's supposed to do a lot of good, and I haven't used a sick day in nearly two years.  I do a Berocca most mornings.  It's a fizzy tablet you drop in to water.  Vitamins, minerals, and some caffeine.  It's a nice little pick me up.  I don't drink coffee.

I do carry around those little 5 Hour Energy bottles, but those are for special occasions.

I guess the key to it all is to eat a balanced diet, but seriously, who has the time for that?  I assume I'm not alone because of the way the vitamin supplement industry has taken off in recent decades.

Maybe, one of these days, the science and nutrition people will get it right.  Take eggs, for example.  At one time, they were great for you, then they were poison.  Now, it's something in the middle.  The great Julia Child had it right.  She preached the philosophy of "everything in moderation."

I hope science will come up with a vitamin supplement that actually works.  But, really, why bother?  Americans are already gladly spelling billions on things that are just a waste of money.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Does It Really Work?: Shaving Pods

I'm a sucker for anything new, especially when it comes to shaving, because I hate it so much.

I stumbled upon this on Amazon.com

Shaving cream pods.  It's like those laundry detergent pods, only with shaving cream inside.
You wet your hand, and the plastic bag dissolves, leaving you with plenty of shaving cream.  Yes, they do work-- but not significantly better or worse than any of the gels that come out of a can.  Not much of a fragrance.  That can be good or bad.
 Most Amazon reviews were very positive.

The manufacturer touts it as good for travelers.  I'm not so sure.  The pods seem rather delicate, and a gentle squeeze could create a mess.

$ 12.89 for 40 pods.  I guess they make sense for some people.  I don't think will be a re-order.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

All Star Night

The Major League Baseball All Star Game was one of my summer highlights.

It hasn't been that way in years.

The reason:  TV.

The All Star Game used to be the place to see players from west coast teams, guys we rarely saw.  This is Phillies and Yankees territory.  Seeing a Royal, Astro, Giant, Padre or Angel was a treat.

Now, if you pay for it, you can see every game, every night.  I don't, but I regularly watch the MLB Network morning highlight program, which is one of the better sports TV shows.

All Star ratings have dwindled over the years.  I get that.  More stations, more choice, more competition.  We've become an NFL nation.

Thankfully, that gimmick of winning league getting World Series home field advantage is over.  bad move to start it.  Better move in getting rid of it.

There is a yearly situation and I will use Washington's Bryce Harper as an example.  Big name.  Great hitter.  Fans want to see him.  Unfortunately, Harper is having an awful 2018.  I'm inclined to say Harper is a fan favorite, it's the fans' game, so he should be on the team.  On the other hand, if a weak hitting Harper is on the All Star team, it denies someone else a shot.

Will I watch tonight?  Maybe.  If I'm up and around a television.  If not, I'll catch the highlights tomorrow morning.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Monday Scrapple

I had the oddest craving for Cheetos last week-- the crunchy kind, not the puffy variety, and that never happens  The urge hit while I was at work.  Fate smiled on me, and there was one bag left in the WNEP vending machine.

Sometimes, I really wonder if some radio programmers listen to their own stations.  I've been hearing a rash of sloppy execution lately, especially during the top of the hour network newscasts.

Advances in LED lighting technology are great, but I still think they make lousy street lights-- unless your town invests in the really big ones.

I've been using my smart watch on my little bike trips for a few months now.  I'm still fascinated by how it works-- and my model isn't even high end.

This is kind of "inside baseball," but remember that old saying that "money goes to money?"  It has been especially true in recent days.

Why does the first half of the month go by more quickly than the second half?

Any list of underrated sings needs to include "Vienna" by Billy Joel.

Why is Camp Bisco tolerated?

I was watching a professional golf tournament on TV the other day, and I had no idea who those people were.

Is the World Cup over yet?

Scranton City Hall needs $ 8 million in repairs.  The building is a gem.  There are no other options.

If you get a chance, go to YouTube and watch some of the interviews with David Brinkley.  He talks about the Nixon years.  Nixon didn't like the media, and reporters really didn't like Nixon.  Brinkley said the media's job is not to love or hate.  It's to report what happens.  We've lost sight of that.

I'm about done with summer.

My weekend highlight was ordering shredder lubricating sheets.


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Andy's Angles: The Cathedral

It is the mother church of the Catholic Diocese of Scranton.  This is a recent pre dawn shot of St. Peter's Cathedral in Scranton.  The church is closed for renovations.  It's scheduled to reopen in the fall.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Andy's Angles: Stained

I try to avoid things religious here, but occasionally something catches my eye.  I was doing a story in front of St. Peter's Cathedral in Scranton on a recent morning, and I really liked the way the light came through the huge stained glass window in the front.

Friday, July 13, 2018

I Want One!

This was unveiled this week at a trade show in Germany called Eurobike.  It is a chainless bicycle that uses 21 ceramic bearings to transfer power.  The bike is said to be so efficient that 99 per cent of the pedaling effort goes to moving the bike forward.

It's only a prototype.  No one knows if it will ever make it to market.  If it does, I'm guessing it will be enormously expensive and I'll be dead before the price comes down.

It was a good week for me and my six year old bike.  Two rides.  41 miles total, including moving in to some new territory.  Sore leg muscles, but a great feeling overall.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Let it Be

I recently came across some You Tube video of my work at one of the stations in town from 22 years ago.  My experiences there were among the unhappiest of my career.  I grabbed some stills, shared them with friends, and we all had a good laugh.  I looked so young back then.  Other than the chuckle, all I could think of was months and months of misery.

My expended biking route takes me past the site of my old junior high school.  The site of one of my elementary schools and my high school is also part of the new journey.  Once again, all I can think of is the unhappiness.

It's not just one sided.  There have been plenty of people over the years who deserved better from me.  Several have received apologies.  The list isn't all that extensive, but let's just say there is more work to be done.

I know our experiences, good and bad, make us who we are.  I've learned more from my failures rather than my successes.

Those with the ability to "Let it Be" have my envy.

But, most days, I stare at the ceiling, wishing there were so many things I could just forget.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

I Lied

Last month, as I was gradually increasing my cycling length and testing my smart watch, I said I was going to hit 20 miles, just to see if I could do it.  Afterward, I would scale back to something in the mid and upper teens.

As you probably know from my endless yammering about it, I hit 21.5.  The next few rides were a little shorter.  I was out for only 45 minutes on one morning during the heat wave.  It was brutal.

Something funny happened Tuesday morning.

The weather was absolutely perfect.  Starry sky.  Temperatures in the mid and upper 60's.  Empty streets.  Aired up tires.  A freshly lubed chain.  A wonderful planetary alignment.  The only thing that was less than perfect was a crescent moon.  There is nothing like pedaling around with your path lit by a giant full moon.

Anyway, I looked down at my watch after being out for a couple of hours.  I was surprised to see I was getting close to record territory.  The ride had been relatively effortless so far, so I thought, why not keep going?   The last couple of miles were tough, but there was a great deal of satisfaction when I topped 23 miles on my last block.

So, what's next?  Some friends are pushing for 25.  I'm not sure.  We're headed into a couple of months of warm and humid nights.  I might give it a shot as we approach fall.