Sunday, July 22, 2007

Why not to be a morning person, Reason #8

We are fortunate to have an extensive trail system right out our back door. It was created primarily for mountain bikers, but I prefer to run/jog/walk instead. Other people horseback ride. In the winter the trails are used by (loud and smelly) snowmobilers and (much quieter) cross country skiiers.

Yesterday I ran into a bit of a trail jam, as I was passing two horseback riders at the same time as two mountain bikers were coming up behind me. No collisions, no worries. But for me, encountering that many people is pretty rare. During the week, it's not uncommon for me to see only one or two other people total, but yesterday was a beautiful, sunny Saturday, so some overlap is to be expected.

I usually head out to the trails in the afternoon or early evening, because exercise in the morning just isn't my thing. I don't feel alert before, during, or after, and I never really hit the stage where the activity feel good. So anyway, point is that I am not out in the morning. Other than a few bikers here and there, the only thing I usually see are chipmunks, bunny rabbits, toads, small birds, and maybe a deer or two.

Jay prefers to run in the morning. Now he rarely run into any other people on the trail, so that's all to the good. What he does see, however, are things like a momma bear and her cubs, a giant moose, and most recently - a psychokiller pheasant. Thing puffed up like a balloon, spread its wings, and chased him down the trail hissing like a raptor.

So the choice seems clear to me. Morning = animals that could eff you up. Afternoon = fuzzy bunnies. No contest.

Monday, July 16, 2007


Recently I've been listening to This American Life while knitting.

This episode: Two Steps Back captures perfectly the reasons I haven't fought too hard to get back into public school teaching. The school and the teachers described and interviewed in the program just about reduced me to tears, because it so closely resembles my experiences with the public school system in this country.

I firmly believe the system is broken. Some individual schools have been spared, but the federal mandates currently in place would change that.

No sane educator would take an honors student and place them in a remedial course. Why then are the educational reform programs doing just that with high-achieving schools and teachers? Yes, some students, and some teachers, need a structured program to help them rise to the expected heights. Knocking people off the top of that peak and making them climb back up at the same pace as the slower ones is pure lunacy.

And this is why I would have to think long and hard about sending a child to public school - not because of the teachers or the curriculum (though I have questions about them, too) - but because of the politics and bureaucracy that have far too much control over the whole system.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Hotheaded? Me?

Your results:
You are Green Lantern

Green Lantern
Wonder Woman
Iron Man
The Flash
Hot-headed. You have strong
will power and a good imagination.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz


I think the problem is that I'm thinking about too many things at once. I actually have about four different blog entries I'd like to write, but I've been knitting and reading and traveling instead.

We spent this last weekend down in New Jersey visiting Jay's family for his 30th birthday. A nice time as always, though the drive is a bit of a hassle. This time my sister was able to take the train out from NYC to hang for the weekend, too. First time that part of Jay's family has met any of my side of the family. One of the things we kind of skipped by not having a wedding.

To answer some of the questions from the comments below, I found all our accommodations on - great site for finding all sorts of different places from B&Bs to larger hotels. As for the rest, we kind of played it by ear. I asked some of the Brits on the web forums I frequent for recommendations, which is how we ending up down on the coastal path near Poole, and up in the Lake District as well. We joined National Heritage while we were there, and that helped us locate some of the random manor houses and other historic attractions. Mostly we just looked at the tourist information available at the guest houses and tourist info in the towns and took it form there. Having a car made a huge difference as well. I don't think we could have gotten to many of those places without our own transportation.

Alrighty. Just checking in today, but I should have some actual content sometime in the next week. Unless all the thoughts in my head collide in another bottleneck...