Wednesday, December 18, 2013

2014, I Resolve....

        The activities we like best, and doing them together, will be the target for us in 2014. Hiking, bicycling, kayaking/ canoeing, camping, sunning and swimming continue to be at the top of our list of joyful living "markers". These are all activities that take time, not money. That's how we have designed our lives...the focus is on out-of-doors activities. We don't compete and we have nothing to prove about our abilities in these areas and therefore, we most often are seen wearing big wide smiles during all of these exercises. The resulting benefits include excellent health and genuine excitement while looking forward to each new season. 
         We share these outings with only a handful of friends who are predictable, reliable and honest.  It truly is one of the great things about surviving into old pretenses. We all know what we are getting in our friendships and associations. I plan to visit dozens of lakes, ride a hundred different roads and trails in 2014. We will take advantage of secluded beaches and collect more of the sun's rays this year than last....therefore increasing our vitamin D intake by at least two-fold over 2013. 
        Call me a dreamer, call me a freak...I'm going "out" with the determination of a young idealist. We are not sure if we have ten years left or twenty, but never let it be said that we wasted our energy on materialism or TV.  We played like Cheetahs and Pandas and Gibbons and we resisted life in a cage...not worrying too much about what others thought of our antics, we were ripe in old age.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Forty Years Ago I Moved To The Mountains, The First TIme.

        Done with college, finished with the BA, finished with the BS, I headed for the hills with my bicycle and my big green duffle bag, I moved to Bodfish on the Kern. This was as simple as it gets. I found a small cabin for which I bartered with work,  pruning fruit trees and repairing sheds on a small ranch on Erskine Creek.
         Soon after this migration to the shores of Lake Isabella, I walked into the office of the local weekly newspaper and offered to write a column recounting my human-powered adventures in the hills outback of reimbursement necessary. Little did I know, this name...Bodfish would attach itself and follow me around for the rest of my life.
         I developed a knack for riding my bicycle, sleeping bag attached to the backrack, beyond the end of the pavement, in every direction from Lake Isabella. These outings were always worth twenty column inches of adventure.
         I froze my phalanges in Philistine Canyon, developed butt sores just beyond Saddle Springs and soaked same in Miracle Hot Springs. The desert and Sierra all wrapped up in a single package and my bicycle would take me anywhere in one tenth the time...hiking with a pack or walking behind a mule was of no interest to me.
        Off road cycle-touring didn't seem like a big deal to me, I seldom flatted a tire and always had plenty of water. Jeepers and motorcyclists were always curious and generous, but few and far between.
        Three years later, when I settled in Chico, Ca. and staged a bicycle ride in the Upper Park of Bidwell...which I originally planned to call the Bodfish Bump, but advertised as the Bidwell Bump in my Pedal/ Pedestrian Advocate newsletter, local cyclists thought I was "off my rocker".
         We staged it in August of 1976 and the temperature "in the shade" that day was 106 degrees. A dozen fool-hearty souls participated and everyone won a prize. The sport of "Mountain Biking" was birthing all over Northern California but I maintain, this is the only fat tire event in which everyone won a prize.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


        I start every day the same...pantless. I roll out of bed, take a drink from my waterbottle and stroll into the toilet to pee. I greet the light of a new day by going out on the upstairs balcony, under the skylights, find the top of the stairs and descend. The dog is still asleep on her pillow at the bottom step...I put a toe on her shoulder, she wags her tail twice and stays in place. It really never varies. Pantless, I walk through to the kitchen and flip on the electric teapot, grab an envelope of black tea and throw it in the cup that I used for tea the night before.
        Here's where it it cold in the house?  Do I have a pair of pants or slippers within reach, anywhere downstairs? Should I flip on the furnace and go out on the back porch to get kindling and firewood? About this time I start to focus on the dreams that filled my night. That was a mighty weird one...yeah, maybe I should go up and get slippers or pants. I grab the remote and turn on the TV, it's usually on the Weather Channel. Still, without pants, I stand waiting for "weather on the eights". Wow, that's crazy, those people have some serious weather to deal with. I flip on a light, a subdued light that won't deplete me of vitamin A, ah, there are my pajama pants that I took off on my way up the stairs last night...still need slippers. So, I am addicted to electricity and living in a house. The remainder of my day varies wildly but, at least I get my pants on.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

4,000 lb. Bullys...Part One

       We were soaring down Chandler Canyon off the West slope of the Warner Mountains, deer hunting season in Modoc County, the only motor traffic we'd encountered were "quad motorcycles". I made a tight right turn over a rickety bridge and Wham! there he stood, the biggest jet black BULL I'd ever seen. He only had time to turn his head and take a step back. I skidded to a stop, (We were on mountain bicycles and we were camped on Plum Creek), but before I could warn my riding partner she made the same bridge crossing and stopped. "What BULL", she asked.
        We were discussing "motor bullies" earlier in the day...intentionally, or not, these big truck guys and gals who are reluctant to give a brake (or even a couple of feet of cushion) to us self-propelled types who meekly make our progress down a common roadway. I have been extremely fortunate during a half million miles of cycling throughout North America and around the World to have only been "brushed", by the callous operators of cars and trucks, two or three times.
        Surprising and frightening a mighty large bull at the road's edge is another matter entirely. The result could feel very much the same, but being rammed and pummeled by a snorting pure-bred beast could bring our incredible lucky stretch to a very abrupt end. We took a wrong turn, at the next opportunity that presented itself,  and therefore added an unplanned hour to our four hour loop.
        When we returned to Plum Creek campground we found that we had one camp neighbor, a young man on a motorcycle who was tent camping just above us. We were salty and tired....badly in need of a dip in the creek (no showers at this free campsite). He walked down to our tent and said he'd failed to find a better swimming hole on this stretch of the creek. "So, you don't mind if we take a plunge here." I wondered, out loud. "Go for it, man, you've got to sleep clean."

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Dreams of an Adventurous Life

        My dreams seem to be pushing me toward a more daring, less inhibited, crazier, more adventurous lifestyle. I was riding up an impressive mountain road on my bicycle last night...when I reached the top I looked down and I was only wearing boxers...and the downhill was extremely steep....and my handlebars snapped on both ends, leaving me with about eight inches to steer with. I started the downhill thinking, "I'm not going to fall and it's going to get easier."
        Then I awoke and was disappointed that I didn't get to test myself. For twenty years I've been a regular workaday fellow...this steadiness is playing with my psyche. We partake in a yearly adventure....well planned, with predictable results. Never a "Frodo" or "Bilbo" adventure...and this is what is played out in my dreams...dangerous junctions, radical associations, magical uphills and frightening downhills.
         I'm actually a frugal and conservative individual however,  dreamlife has me being wild and a little bit crazy...often not clothed and not worried about it, mingling with others who are nude, we shower and bathe together, jump in lakes and creeks, even eating meals with family and friends au naturale, and no one gives it a second thought. We used to pack up the bicycles with everything we needed for a couple of months of wandering, we'd ride off towards the sunrise and make decisions daily or weekly about where to point the front wheel. I miss the wild spontaneity of those journeys.
        At least I'm having that kind of fun in my dreams...this would be the perfect "retired lifestyle". I'm certain we still have it in us...twenty-five years of being "regular folks" can't squelch this inner "hippie spirit". I'm hoping we'll (Lisa and I) be referred to as "those goofy old wanderlust hippies" some day in the near future.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Spinning Wheel, Got To Go 'Round

        I'm thinking that people have zero minutes in their day to read anything "of substance". I'm equally sure that people have the same amount of time to write anything heartfelt and substantive. Events are hitting us like a meteor shower from all directions. Our breaths are quick and shallow and our minds are spinning like a top. It really does take a large "life-changing" event to knock us out of our gerbil wheel.
        I haven't written in this blog for two and a half months, yes, I was spinning in that wheel.
        Bills to pay....bicycles to fix....items to order...later. Time to go on a quiet bicycle ride.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Simple Man, I Really Am.

       I am not complicated...a regular customer brought her bike in the shop for air today, she said "Wow, you are growing a moustache again." She thought it made me look more "complicated". I laughed, because I am simple, predictable, reliable, does a moustache make me complicated?
       Facial hair, it just happens, I'm not sure why. From age 20 through age 40 I let my facial hair do it's own thing...kind of wiry and random, I didn't care what others thought. I shaved for my wedding, we got married for the older folks anyhow, in a small white Methodist Chapel...then I "let it fly" for another six years or so.
        My wife/partner of 37 years really never cared one way or the other, but this morning she said, "What's that dirt, on your upper lip." That nearly caused me to shave it off...ah, what the hell, I want to see what color it turns out to be...too much grey, I might cut it off. I've never been a "primper", in fact, I'm not very fond of mirrors or razors or deodorants or hair wax. I guess that makes me caveman-like...not very civilized.
       I do work well with the public, so maybe I don't smell too bad. At 40, my motivation to cut it off (to be clean-shaven) had everything to do with how close I could get my naked skin to my baby boys'...cheek to cheek with your little one is a precious sensation. Now, he's the one with facial-hair.      
       I haven't figured out if "more complicated" is a good thing or a bad thing...she really didn't let on. I'll guess that it's not a good thing. We all quest for a simpler day-to-day encounters with each other (and especially with the people we do business with). I do like being simple, predictable, reliable and consistent...what you see is what you get!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Card Carrying Golden Eagle

        When it comes to blog entries, I missed my favorite month of June. A wonderfully busy beginning to my 64th year on the Big Blue Ball. You qualify for the National Parks Golden Eagle pass when you've survived 62 years on the planet...I'm a little slow at cashing in on the perks, like college scholarships, small business loans or various tax write-offs. At the risk of sounding like Frank Sinatra, let me just say..."I did it my way. "
         I have additional responsibilities that have taken away from my blogging....1,000 sq. ft. of vegetable garden and six golden chickens. This is the dry time of year so, I must stay extra vigilant, water the garden twice a day and tend to the chickens at least that addition to walking the dog.              The easy thing to put off is the personal exercise requirement...which is why the Golden Eagle pass is so important. We love to ride our bicycles through the Lassen Volcanic National least one day a week.
          Living in the land of very precise seasons is a real have to keep a schedule throughout the year....get the firewood in, garden while you can, enjoy the lake while you can, run around naked during the warm months,  dress warm and light a fire in the woodstove.... making sure the pipes don't freeze for at least six months of the year.  Chores and weather schedules...providing scale and memorable mileposts for your life and everyone around you. There are always interesting stories to share with your friends and neighbors when you are living in the land of four seasons, especially in the mountains.
         I tried the "California of minimal seasons" either rained or it didn't (two possible seasons), it was either blistering hot or foggy (two more possible seasons) ...and I felt pretty smug about living in these conditions (and not in the Upper Midwest) for the first ten years of being a California resident. Then at 35 years old, I realized that life scoots by way too fast when you don't have to worry about your vulnerable pipes. The necessity of taking care of yourself, your loved ones and the mechanical workings of your house is always can seldom use cruise control, lay on the couch and fritter away time by watching TV.
         This is why I'll never "retire"...I can rest when I'm the meantime, I want to keep moving,  climbing hills,  preparing for the next season and enjoying the many freedoms that I've allowed myself while operating in what I'll call, "the weather zone of challenge and intensity" here in the mountains of the North American West.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Done Preaching, What Do I Know, Anyhow?

      I'm back from a quadrennial visit to my "mother-region"...SW Michigan (that part of the hand that you always scuff when you fall off your bicycle). All of my friends and relatives were so gracious, kind and avoided mentioning that I was not a great representation of perfect health and fitness even though,  I have spent the last four decades preaching and haranguing them about fitness, food and healthy living. So, yea...I'm done with that least toward family.
      When I encourage you to walk or pedal or swim through the landscape in the future, it has nothing to do with weight or fitness. I think you should partake in these activities for the pure joy of movement...through the fresh air and soothing liquid that we often take for granted on planet Earth...and for the pure satisfaction of having generated your own energy and propulsion through the environment around you. This doesn't mean that I'm giving up preaching about fitness to everyone else who'll listen....I am after all in the business of selling tools for fitness.
       Somebody has to do it... "health is our number one asset". You can have the biggest house on the lake, the slickest car and the fastest boat on the water...but, if you don't have a healthy or capable are living in a certain kind of poverty. Humans take so much for granted, until... it slips away. It's not all about the physical state of well-being...the mind too must be exercised. My mother reminded me that this is why we should write as often as each other, to the public and sometimes to ourselves. Write it down, your thoughts, your plans and your interpretation of what's going on in the world around you...exercise for your mind.
       Oh shit, here I go...imparting more advise than anyone ever asked for....bicycles, books, baseball and big hugs... back to the things we share...the events that put big smiles in our hearts.  Ok, I guess this is just who I am...the guy who thinks he "knows".

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Daily Exercise Is Her/My Medicine

      My damn dog has been going on her own excursions when I let her out to pee at 6am. It's not good when the neighbor shows up at the door at 7am and I'm still in my boxers holding my steaming second cup of French Roast...I hear a noise on the deck and think, "ah ha, bad dog returns." Only to see a sneering neighbor, who acts astonished at my state of undress and is quick to admonish me for my lack of concern for this ten and a half year old runaway that we call Naja.
      Now that the roads are thawed and the eight o'clock temps are above 40, Naja knows that I am much more likely to go on a morning bicycle jaunt (which doesn't include her) than accompany her on a walk to Benner Creek. We both need our daily constitutional but, do we really have to get every dose of exercise in tandem? My wife is ready to start training a new puppy, even though she's only home three or four days a week.
      My twenty year run as "Labrador father" has left me a little sour on the notion of continuing with a third four-legged animal.  I absolutely love riding my bicycle, even if it's a little two mile run to work, and it feels so much better when I'm not towing a seventy-five pound dog in a twenty-five pound bicycle trailer.
     This Black Lab is 73 years old, for God's sake, can't she be satisfied with a morning patrol around the property line?  She's got at least three acres to work with. During our bicycle/trailer sojourns to work I let her run a third of the way and then order her to "Load-up" which she does every time. She no longer runs away from the bicycle shop...she's acts as if she is fitted with a shock collar at this downtown location...never wandering beyond the borders of our business lots.
      I trust her to do the right thing during our seven and a half hour work detail. She greets customers without discriminating between the poor and the wealthy, the clean and the smelly...even though I know she really enjoys the smelly ones, and she doesn't act territorial when customers bring in their own animals.
     She really has been the perfect shopdog, but for her, retirement is not too far, on the other hand,  I want to work for another ten years. Ok, ok...maybe there is a new Labrador in my future, we're going to have to train the next one to not embarrass me in front of the neighbors.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Just A Note, Before The Bubble Bursts

       It's a flaw. The first thing I do in the morning, as I descend into the living space that we call "The Great Room",  I click the TV remote...the BBC, CNBC and Bloomberg get my waking attention. It's 6:15...fifteen minutes until the opening bell. I find a place to pee and in route, turn on a pot of tea. I want to give up the business channel "habit", does it matter what these high finance cheerleaders think?
        I am the proprietor of a small sports store...what does it all mean to me?  I'm looking for indicators, I take it one day at a time. Stocks up, gold down, the Euro stays the same...should these be barometers for my mood each day? I think not. The coffee habit satisfied,  I let the dog out and hear birds chirping, even singing.
       Opening bell features a group of false-faced humans clapping their flippers together behind a commercial podium...performing a ritual celebration of Capitalism that is designed to boost optimism during another day of money-changing in well-lit buildings and in front of millions of computer screens worldwide. What's shocking is, the whole charade is a pyramid scheme...and they often admit that it is...a sacrificial lamb is periodically nailed and sent to prison, just so you know that there are rules and regulations and that the gov't is doing it's "job".
       An hour into this nonsense...and by now I've been to The Weather Channel, MLB Network and CNN....I notice the dog, begging for a long walk and a morning treat. We hike up a quiet mountain road near our house and never fail to run into neighbors doing the same. Our politics are different but our dogs get along well with each other, so we talk about raccoons, the weather and mountain lion sightings. Discussing what the President is up to, the Constitution or even the Stock Market is never a good idea.
        As a "mom and pop" business owner, I get a lot of sympathy from my neighbors...even as they tell me about the great "score" they recently made on Craig's List or at Sierra Trading Post during a recent visit to the big city...and by the way, "Would you mind taking a look it (bicycle, ski or snowshoe) to make sure it's set up right and safe?"
       There really is no solution to this bad economy, it will not be piece-mealed back to a healthy state. The bubble is going to have to burst before "local" becomes priceless all over again. America is riding a big wave, a record wave...not something that we can gracefully "kick-out" of....the drum roll is getting faster and louder, wipeout! is how the song ends.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

I Don't Eat Mammals...continued

        I was enrolled in Enology, Organic Agriculture and a handful of Psychology and Counseling classes at CSU say that I was a gregarious soul is an understatement. I made a half-dozen new friends during my first week....we walked the furrows of our gardens barefoot, we had salads sprinkled with wheat germ nearly every evening and on the days that we didn't have class, we'd ride our bicycles to the lakeshore for some sunning, skinny dipping and frisbee. Ronald Ray-gun was the Governor of California and Life Was Good.
        During my two years in Fresno I evolved into a more serious,  poem crafting,  graduation directed,  odd job workaholic...I'd given up eating red meat and I invested most of my spare time in exploring the glorious mountains to the East. I rode my bicycle to Shaver Lake, and then to Huntington Lake, and then over Kaiser Pass to Florence Lake. A fellow poet said to me, "Have you ever backpacked in the Sierra Nevada?" We hitched to Mineral King and hiked to the Giant Forest. My life was changed.
        I have been living in, working in, swimming and exploring The Sierra Nevada Mountains of California for most of the last forty years. I also find time to just sit and watch......mountain lions, bear cubs, beaver, rabbits, birds and Pika. They all like the same places that I like. I'm seldom hungry, these critters spend most of their waking hours worrying about food, less time thinking about shelter. Having no natural fur or feathers, I invest more time in providing for warmth...for this reason, I am often a noisy and noxious interloper. I only cut dead wood. Living things are safe with me.

Friday, February 22, 2013

I Don't Eat Mammals

       It's my dog's tenth birthday. It's my child's "twenty-third and a half" birthday. They are both glad that I am a Mafist...."one who does not eat mammals". Staying healthy has been the goal...something I really didn't give much thought to until my twenty-first birthday. I'd just started a summer job with Foremost McKesson in San Francisco as a "milkman".
        One of my fellow driver's told me,"Kid, you'll eat your lunch off the truck. That's because you'll never know where you'll be at lunchtime." I tilted my head a little, as he explained, "Things happen out there and every day is different...just bring a bag of corn chips to work and you'll be good." I figured it out pretty quick. I had a truck full of flavored sour creams and yogurts that, when combined with chips, helped me take in all of the food groups. Orange juice and buttermilk went well with blueberry yogurt followed by corn chips with onion and chives sour cream.
        To successfully deliver dairy products to thirty-five customers in the many neighborhoods that make up San Francisco during an eight hour shift,  I had to run, pushing a two-wheel handcart up and down thousands of steps every day. This was why Foremost hired young college students to act as "relief drivers" for summer employment. We had to run, collect "returns"...dated food, record everything in "the book" and take orders for the next trip...which might be three days away. Navigating the streets of San Francisco in a "bobtail" refrigerated truck on a different route everyday was a challenge greater than any job I'd held previous to the Summer of '71.
        What did this have to do with me giving up red meat? I had no social life for three and a half months. I drove from Walnut Creek to S.F. over the Bay Bridge at 3am in the morning...I returned home at 7pm. I didn't go to any barbecues or restaurants for fifteen weeks. I made "a ton" of money and returned to Cal State Fresno in mid-September as a lacto-vegetarian (so-labelled by the first person I talked to, on the first day of Enology class). "You'll definitely prefer the white wines." she informed me be continued........

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Positive About The Future

        How could I not be feeling great about the future....end of February, hints of Spring, birds singing like Italian women at an outdoor market. Due to the support of full time and part time Lake Almanor residents,  I can be sure that 2013 will be another year of solvency...We will get twenty years out of this cow....and the milk just keeps on coming.
        There are hazards, there are downturns and there is, most definitely, risk in operating a Main Street business in a tiny seasonal village yet, the rewards are numerous. No one was going to get rich selling kayaks and bicycles to villagers and tourists...I've always had a humble idea about the definition of: "a good living". This has been my way of getting my friends and neighbors out-of-doors, using their bodies to propel through life,  toward a strong and healthy retirement, for me and them.
       Once again, I had the realization that reclining in a chaise lounge, mint julep in hand, while reading a good book, isn't a's a vacation, valuable, but only precious because the rest of the year isn't like that. This is why I moved back to "snow country" almost three decades ago. Everything takes a break up here...mosquitoes, humidity, ticks, thievery and traffic.
        I'm going to say it again, we have built something here...a business, a house, a family, trust and peace of mind. You never know how many days you have left on this would be a tragedy to lose focus and perspective, by yanking up the roots and transplanting to a radically different climate or country for the sake of increased leisure and comfort...I'll have plenty of time to rest when I am dead.
        My friend and neighbor, Jack, has told me for twenty years, "Chuck, you have to keep moving, don't look back,  just keep pedaling forward and keep your mouth closed. You don't want to swallow anything with a stinger on it." Jack is 87 and has a new girlfriend...the locals are calling them Chester's "most experienced teenagers". With advisors like Jack setting the pace how can I not be positive about the future?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The First Mile Is Always The Toughest

       My 2013 exercise regimen started in earnest on Groundhog Day. It involves taking my ten year old Labrador on a three mile hike every morning up one of our neighborhood hills. Solo morning exercise usually puts me in somewhat of a trance...a state of creative thought, a stream of consciousness that is only interrupted by motor traffic or wildlife using the same lane.
       This is at least the thirtieth time I've resolved to get back into a regular pattern of cardiovascular exercise... after short lapses of slovenly behavior that include: eating, drinking and lounging during most of my waking hours, often clustered around the end-of-year holidays.  Never fails, I annually come back to the realization that it's the first mile of any aerobic outing that's the toughest.
        Fifty years ago, at age thirteen, I joined the high school cross country team. I was nine when we moved to the suburbs,  this was also the beginning of my battle with asthma.  Running and asthma combined to make efficient breathing my highest priority. Coach Spade always waited for us, stop watch in hand, at the one mile mark of our much longer training runs. He'd say, "Chuck, how is it going?" and my answer was always the same, "The first mile is always the toughest."
         A good syncopation between footfalls and oxygen intake would develop somewhere between mile two and mile three...just in time for me to start catching (picking off) the string of runners ahead of me. This was always too late for me to have impressive results in an actual meet. Over distance training runs were my forte. Any competitive rewards I might have felt were my own private victories...there were no medals for coming in third in a fourteen mile High School training run.

Friday, February 1, 2013

People Who Fix Things, With Their Hands!

          I don't believe the hype...Wall Street says, "Give us your $, everyone is going to get rich ."  I am a small business man (two hundred or less employees). Quite possibly the smallest Main St. business man (who owns his own building) in the country. I am not worried. I fix things with my hands.... fewer and fewer people know how to fix the things they own...for a decade they've been buying really cheap things and throwing them away when they stop working. The folly of this mode of operation is becoming more obvious by the day...subsequently,  people are looking for "those who fix things, with their hands".
          Working with your brain was once considered a valuable skill, however, we've developed machines that work day and night to learn and execute the tasks that once required brain power. Unemployment is an ugly doesn't mean your community is going to give you a handout, as it once did. It means you are not being useful in that community might be plopped down in front of the TV or another entertainment monitor... but,  your community could use you as a volunteer at the Hospice Care Thrift store, or in an Elder Care facility, or at the local Library. Or, if you have a "mechanic gene" you can go around your neighborhood fixing things. Word gets out quick, "Ask Chuck, maybe he can fix it."
           Being a good samaritan can still lead to gainful employment. There are people in your neighborhood that could use help...why wouldn't you?   Quite often,  Americans are too proud to ask, but if we go out and meet our neighbors it will result in a better neighborhood and therefore, a better world. We are all going to need help in the times ahead and our lives will be richer if we all work together. Wall Street only cares about your $, not your attitude when you wake up each morning.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Like A Newborn Baby...

      Barefooting across my icy deck, surrounded by snow laden trees, I heard the fireworks and the neighborhood cannon fire off as I eased into my Snorkel hot tub. Hello 2013! As is tradition with me, I started the new year in a pool of water wearing the clothes God gave me. Rebirth, this is what the Mayans, the Christians and Nostradamus were looking forward to many centuries ago.  
       I have the usual resolutions...Weight maintenance, be nice to the 99%,  more cardio,  enjoy (and express joy) every day that I am capable of processing oxygen and excreting toxins. The number of days remaining is Finite, for all of, why sweat the small stuff?  There are important events in my future... re-hugging all of my family ranks at the top of my list.  So, I'm buying a couple of Amtrak tickets that make a Spring journey to Michigan a certainty.
      The arrival of 2013 helps me focus on the here and day at a time. My body is my temple, job one is to keep it humming, keep it well lubricated, keep the gears clean and realize the mind can play sneaky tricks. Don't let this "trickster" jerk you out of the present or sneak up on you in a devious disguise. No room for depression or deception at the Inn. I follow the 'keep it simple/keep it honest/nothing to hide' mantra, I have no time or patience for anything else.
       The future looks bright, my partner is a beautiful friend and we have thousands of miles to California, on the trails of the Pacific Northwest, in the Pyrenees and on the many islands of the Mediterranean. We strive for continued wellness, fitness and open-mindedness that will make these adventures possible. We built our mental capabilities, we built our house, we built our family and we built our business with dogged determination and positive attitudes...and we enter our senior years with the same focus and resolve. Happy New Year, everyone.