Yet Another Reason to Run

owl1

This morning, shortly after I finished running along my favorite trail, I just happened to look up into a nearby tree and I saw two owls….the bottom half of the second owl is in the upper left corner of the image.

I slowly walked away from where I was standing and I went home to collect the DSLR camera…all the cell phone camera image would have shown was a tree.

Obviously, the owls were still there when I returned.

I didn’t want to disturb them, so I brought my  43X spotting scope (equivalent to a 2100mm lens) with an adapter to attach it to my camera.

The lens arrangement makes the camera “manual everything” and the image is not as “clean” as a regular (expensive) lens would provide, but it’s good enough to show off what I was privileged to see this morning.

They were about 100 yards from the only picnic table at the trail head parking lot and I used the table to support my tripod, so I don’t think I unduly disturbed them.  Even so, I was being watched!

250 yards (230 meters) away is a very busy divided highway with three lanes each way and a 65mph/100kph speed limit.  The passing motorists, hidden away in their cars, likely had no idea of what they were missing.

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Busy Bees

In the USA desert southwest, it’s the season for the cactus to blossom and the bees and cactus are making a trade……pollination in exchange for food.

cactus-flower1cactus-flower2

Rice, Beans and Dave Ramsey

My parents and my wife’s parents had been teaching “us kids” about finances long before Dave Ramsey started his business and radio show to do the same thing.

It seems we heeded our parents’ lessons because my wife and I were able to retire in our 50s, even with our daughter attending college.

We had been saving money for retirement our entire working life, but when we were in our mid 50s we decided to “get serious” about saving for retirement and we retained a retirement planner.  After looking over our finances, the planner told us we could have retired 5 or 6 years earlier…so while we are good at saving, we obviously don’t know that much about how much money it takes to retire.

It wasn’t long after that meeting that we told our respective employers what we felt was good news.

Because we don’t know that much about “retirement money”, we listen to Dave Ramsey’s radio show if it is on the air when we are in our car.

We agree with just about everything he says…live slightly below your means, get or stay out of debt, save for the future and give.

However, we do not agree with his apparent views about rice and beans.   When someone calls in to his show and needs to control expenses so they can use the saved money to pay off debts, he tells them they need to go on a diet of “rice and beans and beans and rice”.  He makes it sound like it is a difficult and terrible, but noble sacrifice.

If he thinks a diet of rice and beans is a sacrifice, he must not know how to properly prepare them.

Spices, rice, beans and sriracha sauce..and we are happy people.

Oh, one thing, Mr Ramsey doesn’t mention is that dried beans are less than half the cost of canned beans.  We use dried beans.  🙂

Intervals

Today I ran some intervals.  Intervals are good, but I only do them once every week or 10 days…..any more than that and it would become a perfect example of too much of a good thing is bad.

If you’re familiar with interval training and the heart rate zones, the chart of the workout I did today should tell the story.

zones

Minutes spent in the standard 90-80-70-60-50 heart rate zones

 

If you’re not familiar with intervals and heart rate zones, interval workouts involve alternating periods of “hard” and “not quite as hard” exercise, and the zones have to do with the intensity of the exercise.   Exercising with a heart rate  in zone 1 is “nothing”, exercising in zone 2 is “easy”, exercising in zone 3 is “getting harder”, exercising in zone 4 is “quite an effort” and exercising in zone 5 is “In the next minute or two, I’ll have to choose between slowing down and falling down”.

 

I do this…just because….. 🙂

 

Planting

I haven’t decided if this is a truck or garden post.

JeepFC-170

1957 Jeep FC-170.  From the Jeep Forward Control Wikipedia article

Today I transplanted Yellow Pear tomatoes and Serrano peppers.

Over time I have found that using fifteen huge flower pots as a sort of movable raised bed garden works better than anything else I’ve tried.   During the summer, the sunshine and heat become intense enough that the tomato plants stop producing and moving the plants into the partial shade of our orange tree solved the problem.

What does this have to do with a Jeep truck?

Well, every few years I replace the soil in the pots and this year was one of those “every few years”.  It takes 1800 pounds (800 kilos) of soil to fill those pots and my truck, (like the one pictured above) is perfect for the job.  Unlike any other 3/4 ton truck I’ve had, it’s narrow enough that I can drive it into the back yard and avoid using a wheelbarrow.

Sourdough Rolls

When I got home from the field trip, I started on some sourdough rolls.

My wife and I are going to see our daughter tomorrow and I was asked if I could bring more sourdough rolls.

I got the “Pleeeeeeeseeeee…..”  treatment.  How could a dad say no to that?  🙂

rolls

She has made these at home, so it’s not a case of her not knowing how to make them.  In her case it’s a lack of space.  She lives in a four bedroom apartment with three other girls and there isn’t a lot of room for storing cooking utensils.