A little stroll.

Man, all this pheasant and champagne and pie and the rest of it has taken a toll. I feel like crap, not in an I’m-getting-sick kind of way, more like an I’m-missing-the-gym deal. But I refuse to be one of those Jan. 1 newbies. (You like that logic? I’m missing the gym, but I won’t go to the gym. Because.) I considered my non-gym options and did something insane: I went for a walk.

Bipedal motion! What a crazy idea. I made it crazier yet — I didn’t use my iPod. Just me and my thoughts, and feet moving back and forth. Yesterday I walked about two miles and felt like someone had taken a ball-peen hammer to the bottoms of my feet, and yes, I was ashamed. Today I walked three and a half, and felt much better. Just needed to get the kinks out. I made both walks errands: Have a destination, get something done along the way. Yesterday I gave blood. Today, went to the library to return a DVD. (“Meek’s Cutoff,” don’t bother.) Things I noticed:

Couple of squabbling blue jays;
About a million storefronts I hadn’t seen up close;
The world. All snowy ‘n’ cold ‘n’ stuff.

When did we decide whatever was on our smartphone screens was so goddamn interesting? What if they’d told us the truth back in first grade, when we were first promised personal jetpacks? You won’t get that, but you will get a computer smaller than a deck of cards that you will carry in your pocket, one that will facilitate instant communication with the rest of the world. You will mainly use it to play Angry Birds and see what a celebrity is eating for lunch.

OK, enough. It was a good day. But tomorrow everything hits another gear. Today is the Iowa caucuses, and we’ll have lots to talk about In the meantime…

Dave Barry’s Year in Review. The same year after year, but always good for a chuckle or three.

My old News’n’Sentinel colleague Ash Khalil has a new book out. Unlike Herr Goeglein’s, I think I’ll read this one.

Eric Zorn notices two apocalyptic pronouncements from GOP candidates and wonders, hyperbole or hysteria? What’s scary is how many people agree with them.

Anyone want to make predictions on Iowa results?

Posted at 2:23 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

34 responses to “A little stroll.”

  1. Dexter said on January 3, 2012 at 3:10 am

    I’m glad for the report from the walk. About one day out of 5,000 I am housebound , infirm. Monday was that day. I only walked the dogs from the porch, didn’t even get the recyclables tub from the curb terrace. I’m getting better, hardly any coughing or nasties, strength returning. I actually ate a pork chop w/ apple sauce & au gratin potatoes, and just had a hunk of olive-oil seared challah bread, so I look forward to a routine day when the sun comes up. A week since I could eat anything but a little soup and a cracker. This bug is a bad one. Now my daughter in Toledo has it. My good friend, a school principal, chastised me for not getting the flu shot.
    Well, I had the coffee pot armed and set for the sunrise, but I had a craving and brewed it just now. See how upside down a guy gets with cabin fever? But…I’m feeling it now, and glad to be shaking this past week into the dustbin.
    Going for a walk with Sleeves:


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  2. moe99 said on January 3, 2012 at 3:57 am

    I predict that an idiot is going to win the Iowa Republican primary.

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  3. mark said on January 3, 2012 at 6:06 am

    Beautiful weather here in Bangkok, and lots of walking. Great public transportation, but walking is often the fastest (or easiest) way to get to the most interesting places.

    Tonight’s plans include a visit to Vertigo. http://virtuallifestyle.net/info.php?cat=3&subcat=44 Pretty amazing, disorienting place, and no too expensive for a couple of mocktails.

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  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 3, 2012 at 7:19 am

    Movement, on a consistent basis, is all most people need. Walk, run, bike on road or stationary – whatever works for you that is sustainable.

    Did anyone else read “The Fat Trap” in the NYT Sunday Mag? Fascinating research, and Tara Parker-Pope has skin in the game, so to speak. Weight loss (and gain) is a morbidly interesting mix of genetic predisposition, lasting tendencies from early life fat, biochemical set-points, and of course the easy availability of intense caloric intake on a day-long basis with minimal exertion. No easy answers, and even “eat less, exercise more” isn’t enough of a solution for most.

    But regardless of weight, everybody needs to move – and the sitting for long stretches looks like what’s really killing us. Which is such good news for a blogcom full of writers!

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  5. coozledad said on January 3, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Moe99: I’m putting my money on the abject moral cripple.

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  6. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 3, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Cooze, you’ll have to be more specific.

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  7. beb said on January 3, 2012 at 7:58 am

    It’s hard to be active during winter – at least for me. The days are just so darn cold that all I want to do is wrap myself up in blankets and shiver.

    Eric Zorn casually dismisses the very radical nature of the Republican platform. They want to do away with Social Security (as we know it) Medicare, unemployment insurance, FEMA, ban abortions for all Americans, ban birth control, eliminate the clean air and water laws, end regulation on the one industry that destroyed the economy and impose a Christian religion dominated government. These are not conservative goals, they are very radical goals.

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  8. Dorothy said on January 3, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Moe I’m glad I wasn’t sipping tea when I read your comment. I really did snort while I laughed, and of course I agree 100%.

    We left our phones at home last night when we went out to dinner here in town. I’m no innocent – I’ve checked mine lots of times, but after awhile it dawns on you that you look like a complete putz doing it too frequently. When we took my mom out to dinner last week in Pittsburgh we were gaping at a family of six who sat at a table and ALL of them were absorbed in their phones, until the food came of course.

    Good luck at the new job Nancy.

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  9. heydave said on January 3, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Walking is wonderful! I have been going to the gym a few days a week at lunch, but walking the 2 miles (up hill, both ways, honest!) to work the other two days. Requires more planning if I am to be “workbound” all day, but it’s great. And yes, so many, many things you see while walking that you have overlooked driving by thousands of times.

    And right here in Ioway on this Caucus Madness! day… a lotta dumb shit is going to go down.

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  10. Kim said on January 3, 2012 at 9:24 am

    I’m with you on the counterintuitive gym avoidance. Too damned many people in the first weeks of January! I, too, have been walking but using an iPod for the first time ever. I spose that insulation could be problematic with the deer, fox and other wild critters that run around my circuit, except me trying not to sing along too loud to the Replacements is enough to keep all sentients at bay. And if that ain’t a noun, it oughta be.

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  11. joe kobiela said on January 3, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Dave Berry is one funny dude, I laughed repeatedly. Heydave, greeetings from Waterloo iowa. Just getting ready to haul someparts to Tenn.
    Vacation to FLA starts WED.
    Pilot Joe

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  12. caliban said on January 3, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Antidote to Meek’s Cutoff: Hombre, one of Paul Newman’s best. I predict that the idiot that wins the Iowa primary will also be certifiably delusional. Best possible Iowa outcome. Palin write-ins win the day. And can anybody figure out why GOPers hate our freedom.

    Jaybirds. They are seriously contentious, aren’t they. And I hope all those Iowa voters give serious thought to the idiotic ethanol subsidy when they vote for the Drill, baby crowd today. What a bunch of conflicted fools. Keep your government hands off my farm subsidy.

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  13. Chris in Iowa said on January 3, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Heydave, it’s nice to see another Hawkeye here — unless, of course, you are an Iowa Stater.

    If you don’t mind my asking, where are you at in Iowa?

    I can report that Newt is scheduled to enlighten us within minutes here in Muscatine, one of the scuzzy Mississippi River towns noted recently by Stephen Bloom in his Atlantic essay.

    And I just had my first robo-call of the Dave from Rick Perry’s campaign.

    I’ll be glad when it’s all over.

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  14. Judybusy said on January 3, 2012 at 10:22 am

    I think I’ve shared this before, but taking up XC skiing and getting a dog have transformed winter for me. We have a huge, beautiful dog park right by the Mississippi River, and I walked there all three days over the weekend. Seeing the dogs playing and happy is so heartening, too. This year, the skiing is nil; we haven’t had enough snow. I’ve been lame in the gym attendance, too, but I feel so much better when I go. I just gotta do it; I never regret it when I do.

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  15. coozledad said on January 3, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Romney hasn’t even made it through the primaries and he’s already creating jobs. I wonder if this guy moonlights as an executive washroom towel-boy or if he’s strictly a Chair Balance Genie level II:

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  16. Michael said on January 3, 2012 at 10:29 am

    I’ve recently began long walks as well aided by an app on my Droid. I am banned from running since meniscus knee surgery three years ago. (During my week of immobile recovery Nancy kindly brought me a wonderful lunch.) But I can comfortably walk long distances. There is an app called “TripTreck” which uses the GPS feature on my phone which keeps detailed statistics on these walks. I know my speed (I aim for an average of 3.5 mph) and the precise distance. I can even see a nice visual of the path I took overlaid on Google Maps.

    A friend my age said he became religious about three mile walks daily and in a few months threw away blood pressure and cholesterol medications with doctor’s blessings. There’s a New Years goal worth pursuing.

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  17. Deborah said on January 3, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Yay for walking! I’m a walker as I’ve said here many times before. I try to get 6 miles a day if I can walk home for lunch, but can’t every day. Even when I walk the same route day after day I love it, I always see something new, and there are always people to watch. Walking here in New Mexico is quite different, topography for one thing, and resistance like deep snow, rocks etc. You get a lot more of a workout here. I also read that walking in cold weather is better for you in terms of calorie burning. You burn something called brown fat which sounds gross, but it burns more efficiently in cold weather.

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  18. Lynn said on January 3, 2012 at 11:42 am

    A view from Cedar Rapids: the incident with Colmes (sp?) is going to put Santorum over the top.

    Amy Poehler predicts that in 20 years there will be a college class in eye contact.

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  19. LAMary said on January 3, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Another walking fan here. During the week it’s hard to find the time to do much mileage, but on the weekends I take one or two of the dogs on a long schlep around my hill. The Lab loves it, but the Golden is a lazy girl and needs to be coaxed much of the way. The Dane’s hip has been bothering him, so I just do short walks with him. Last Saturday we did half of the walk on streets and half on trails around the hill. At one point the Lab stopped short and didn’t want to go forward. I believe we were in some serious coyote territory. I know I hear the yipping of what has to be 4 or 5 coyotes at night from the general vicinity of where the Lab stopped. I convinced him to keep moving, but he seemed very glad to get out of there.

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  20. Jeff Borden said on January 3, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Dogs are the ultimate walking motivator. I just took Cosmo for a stroll of about 1.5 miles sans cellphone, iPod, radio, etc. My goal is 2 or 3 miles every day of the year, plus flossing every day, which is a perennial resolution.

    I feel kind of dirty watching the shenanigans in Iowa because I could close my eyes and it would sound a lot like the 1950s. I have that stupid git Santorum’s casual racism –he doesn’t want to give black people other people’s money but opportunities instead even though minorities make up less than 30% of welfare recipients– not to mention his constant gay bashing. I have the stuffed shirt poor little rich boy invoking the darkest passages of Joe McCarthy, when he’s not appropriating an old KKK slogan, ie, America for Americans. I have several of these chickenhawks –not one ever served in combat– lining up to start a nice, new war with Iran, as if it were the Iran of old where we installed the shah. And there’s a good, old-fashioned isolationist whose fairly recent newsletters are chockablock with race-baiting and anti-Semitism.

    And there remains a very, very, very good chance that one of these atavistic fuck weasels will be our next president. Won’t that be nice? I only wish I had a few kids I could sell into child labor pools as we enter the outer reaches of Randian existence.

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  21. LAMary said on January 3, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Off topic, and maybe I find this amusing because there’s a Brit in-house, but this got me laughing this morning.


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  22. DellaDash said on January 3, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Like most of my siblings, having matured into extreme deviation from the ultra-Goldwater-National Review (with which I expanded my vocab…WF Buckley never didn’t use the most obscure, multi-syllabic term he could excavate from the tombs of verbiage)-elephantine conservatism of my Iowa upbringing, I avoid talking politics on the hometown front. Yet I can take my staunch elderly mother’s pulse and come up with a guess…

    …because she has a lesbian grand-daughter she loves, and is probably representative of a good portion of the state’s Republican population…I don’t think any of the rabid gay-hating flags are gonna fly.

    …wouldn’t put money on it, but expect staid, plodding Mitt-idiocy to prevail.

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  23. paddyo' said on January 3, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    LA Mary @ 21, that was the first thing I thought when I heard the news about the body on the queen’s estate. Looking forward to Fred Armisen of “SNL” doing a riff as Cockney-talking Queen E off that one . . .

    Caliban @ 12: “Heyyyy, hombre! You put ayy hole een meeee!” LOVED that movie . . .

    And finally, what beb said @ 7 about the GOP’s ultra-uber-radical-right blueprint for Amerika . . .

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  24. Bitter Scribe said on January 3, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    I usually like Dave Barry’s year in review, but call me crabby, I didn’t enjoy this one much, mostly due to the inane shots against Obama. (A teleprompter gag, Dave? Really?)

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  25. MarkH said on January 3, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    paddyo’, caliban:

    “Now what did you suppose hell was gonna look like…?”

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  26. Mindy said on January 3, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I can’t skip my daily walk even when I want to. The resident Labrador sticks close until he’s had his appointed rounds and is actually a dangerous obstacle until he gets his way. I swear he wears a watch on his leg under his fur. Walkies is between 8:30 and 9 each morning. Dinner is between 5:00 and 5:01.

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  27. LAMary said on January 3, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Mindy, my lab knows when it’s walking time,knows when it’s food time, knows when it’s time for him to leave the room because the cats are going to eat, and knows when it’s bedtime. It’s amazing. The other dogs follow him. One of the cats seems to be in on it as well. I’m only there to keep the animals happy.

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  28. Peter said on January 3, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Moe 99 at #2: Talk about a safe bet.

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  29. del said on January 3, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    It’s a toss up between Moe99 and Heydave (“a lotta dumb shit is gonna go down”) as to the threadwinner today.

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  30. Bob (not Greene) said on January 3, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Well, it’s been so long since I’ve been to the gym I can’t very well worry about being a new year newbie. So I went back today for the first time in months, swam 1,000 yards and now my arms feel like they’re going to fall off. We’ll see how long this newfound motivation lasts.

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  31. brian stouder said on January 3, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Del at 29 strikes me as correct; the NN.c caucus is deadlocked between Moe and Del, and I think we shall have to follow along to NH and SC.

    Aside from that, I made the tactical error of scheduling pheresis this evening, and my friends at Red Cross are very Red-State (so to speak)

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  32. Dexter said on January 3, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Mindy…I was late walking my Lab-mix dog because I was sick yesterday and yes, I ended up having to get the big carpet cleaning machine out. Prep it, scrub, rinse, dump. Repeat. Put away. Pain in the ass. Dogs just can’t miss their appointed rounds. And this dog will go where she is and not wait for me if she has to. Thank the stars this doesn’t happen very often. 🙁

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  33. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 3, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Prediction for tonight – at the end of the day, the GOP candidates will all leave Iowa, and head for New Hampshire. It will be another 42 months, barring serious flooding, before we hear about Iowa in the national news again.

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  34. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 3, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    BREAKING: in my house, two vote FOR my latest bean soup concoction, one is UNDECIDED as I just told him that, yes, those are split peas.

    Loving some of the CSPAN live shots around Iowa. Precinct guy does a virtual spit take when the central phone operator, going through the list asking for his vote tallies, says “for Herman Cain?”

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