Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Maybe Blizzard, a New Fitness Device, and a Riveting Book

No, these three topics have nothing to do with one another, but they are what is currently on my mind, and when has a trio of non sequiturs ever stopped me? I'm sure I can figure out a way to make all three of these topics flow nicely from one into the other.

We are in the midst of one of those weather events that could be a big deal or could end up petering out into nothing much at all. The National Weather Service has been predicting a major storm for several days. Eight to Twelve inches! Blizzard-like Conditions! Blowing and Drifting Snow! Dangerously Cold Temperatures!

So far none of this has really come to fruition, but give it time. It started snowing early this morning, a fine, soft snow. We had two inches at 7 am, and now at 3 pm we might have three or four. But it is supposed to snow all night and much of tomorrow, so we could still end up with a lot.

So far the winds don't seem to be too bad. I actually went for a run this morning and I've definitely run in worse weather.

The cold on the other hand, seems to be a winner. It was 15 degrees F at 7 am, and that was the high for the day. Now at 3 pm its 7 and that is predicted to get much much worse tonight.

I do still like exciting weather, but I don't like cleaning ice and snow off of little dogs, or shoveling. But a big ole storm with howling winds would be kind of fun, as long as all of our trees stay where they are supposed to!

Speaking of exercising in cold weather (told ya I could join these topics together!), Sarah gave me a Fitbit. Her work had given her one and she didn't want it, so she gave it to me. A Fitbit is a glorified pedometer that will upload your steps, calories and miles to an app on your phone or your Mac or PC whenever you are close to that device. You can wear it inobtrusively on a bra or your pocket. The fancier ones will even monitor your sleep! The thing I'm discovering is that without my running I'm not all that active. Since I'm retired I don't need to walk from a car to my workplace, or walk around at my job. I have to be more purposeful about getting exercise. I'm trying to get to at least 10,000 steps a day and even with a short run in the morning I don't always make it. So like today when the weather is bad and the dogs probably won't get a walk I'm going to be short about a 1000 steps. It makes me want to go pace around in the basement or something. Now, I could start cleaning the house today, and that probably would help, but nah, I think I'll put that off until tomorrow. It does help me understand why my weight has been going up a bit lately. I especially like the fact that I can just glance at my phone occasionally and see how many steps I have for the day. Its fun!

Well, with all this bad weather, its a good time to get totally lost in a good book. Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is exactly that. I'm about 2/3rds of the way through. I started it maybe three days ago, and its 700 pages long, so that gives you some idea how hard it is for me to put down. I don't want to give the plot away, but there is enough urgency to the events that I have a hard time staying away from it for very long. I love Donna Tartt. Her first book, A Secret History, is one of my all time favorites. She only writes about one book every ten years, and I literally have been waiting for this new one about that long.

Although The Goldfinch is listed as one of the top ten books of the year by the New York Times, not everyone has enjoyed it. My friend Christine, a fellow obsessive reader, was disappointed. The New Yorker thought it was overdone and over the top. But I am enthralled. I love her imperfect protagonist, the Dickensian references, the motley cast of characters, the intense sense of urgency as the story hurtles to a close. Do I think it is as good as The Secret History? I'm not sure at this point; I'll have to see how she handles the conclusion. It would be easy to go off the deep end and have something crazy or stupid happen. I'm expecting something good, or even great; I hope I'm not disappointed!

So that's it for this snowy New Hampshire afternoon. The doggies are napping, Lee is busy in his office and the light is slowly failing. As I look out the window, quiet flakes of snow are drifting down. The cold is increasing but so far at least the winds are holding off. But its only the second of January. There is plenty of time for some real winter weather here in New England.

Lee took this picture, I LOVE it!

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