Pilot Butte Update 2

In which I give an update to my hiking of Pilot Butte and more general walking and other exericse.

I first addressed Pilot Butte in my Exercise goals for 2015 post and again in the Pilot Butte Inspiration post of 10 February, which makes this update 2.

The gist was that I was going to climb Pilot Butte a minimum of 1x/week but that was causing my back to hurt too much so I decided to hike the base trail around, which really is as much up and down but in shorter more frequent doses. I also started working toward the Century Club.

In the last update I had hiked the butte 9 times by the end of week 7. Week 9 just ended—also ending month 2—and I have have hiked it now 15 times. That is 30% of the way to the Century Club with only 16.7% of the year gone by. Maybe I can complete two Centuries this year.

a photo of my Century Club card filled out to date

Times are still quite good (for me, and in my opinion) and I do not detect any kind of overuse issues beginning. I do need to get new walking/hiking shoes soon though. Should be good for running shoes but got cold again so that’ll wait.

Tights update: new tights are boring black. ::sad face:: Seems fashion moves on. Colorful tights are only available in 3/4 length tights currently; at least at the local store I went to. Maybe elsewhere the situation is different … but 3/4 length are nowhere near my radar currently. I have tights though. Of course, as soon as I got them the weather turned cold again and we even got snow and ice. It is winter after all. :D

And thank you, Mom, seriously, for helping me with the tights. They may be boring but they should be effective. That’s what truly matters. You know me, though. Loud and flashy.

At work yesterday I went through the current version (Oct 2012) of US Army FM 7-22 Army Physical Readiness Training [PDF ~24 MB) and got a lot of good info to start doing other things besides walk/hike and pull-/chin-ups.

As for weekly mileage, in the last update we were still in week 7:

  • Week 7     16.19 mi
  • Week 8     8.96 mi
  • Week 9     13.77 mi
So despite week 6 being crap I have been over 8 mi/wk since. This pleases me greatly.
I think that’s it for now.

Ramsey – New Era

New era : reflections on the human and natural history of Central Oregon by Jarold Ramsey

Date read: 07-26 February 2015

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cover of  Ramsey's New Era

Paperback, 154 pages

Published 2003 by Oregon State University Press

Source: COCC Barber Library (F 876.5 .R36 2003)

I found this while verifying that there is a second copy of the previously reviewed Atkeson book on the library shelves.

I truly enjoyed this book and will be acquiring a copy to own: there are several stories, some useful leads in my local history question, and some intriguing points of view that I want to revisit.

Ramsey’s language is of the common person, yet fluid and often beautiful. We heard the author speak at our public library just two days after I checked out the book. He told us a very schematic Native American folktale from the Central Oregon region and then proceeded to embellish it by looking at it academically and following up leads and sources until it is was fleshed out as it can be. It was wonderful exercise. “The Farm Boy, the Homesteader, and the Old Indian: Conserving a Story” is a similar sort of exercise that he undertakes in this volume.

Contents:

  • Introduction
  • New Era: Growing Up East of the Cascades
  • The Farm Boy, the Homesteader, and the Old Indian: Conserving a Story
  • Going Around the Mountain
  • The Kiln
  • Opal City
  • Quincey’s Ladders: A Fishing Tale
  • The Canyon
  • Two Homesteads
  • An Impromptu on Owning Land
  • Notes

“New Era” tells of growing up in Central Oregon and of the one-room schoolhouse he attended. I already mentioned “The Farm Boy, …” above. “Going Around the Mountain” tells the story of a family trip in the summer of 1949 to circumnavigate Mount Jefferson. “The Kiln” and “Opal City” are about just what they say there are. “Quincey’s Ladder” is about a prime fishing spot and so much more. “The Canyon” is indeed the story of a canyon, while “Two Homesteads” is a comparative study of two ranches. “An Impromptu …” is also well-advertised as to topic.

Highly recommended for lovers of Central Oregon history, Ramsey’s other literary endeavors, or fans of stories of the homesteading era.

This is the 12th book in my Traditional Chesterfield armchair

Merveille – Hello, Mr. Hulot

Hello, Mr. Hulot by David Merveille according to Jacques Tati

Date read: 23 February 2015

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cover of Merveille's Hello, Mr. Hulot

Hardback, 32 pages

English translation published 2013 by NorthSouth Books; first published in France under the title Hello Monsieur Hulot, 2010

Source: Deschutes Public Library (Picture Books MERVEILLE DAVID)

I learned about this adorable book from Unshelved in a review by Gene Ambaum himself. Same weekly installment in which I learned about A Most Imperfect Union.

Monsieur Hulot is a comedic character invented and acted by Jacques Tati for four movies made between 1953 and 1971. I have not seen them all but I know I have seen at least one and perhaps two. If you are unfamiliar with Monsieur Hulot then I suggest you check out one of the movies listed at the Wikipedia article linked above.

If you are familiar with (and like) Monsieur Hulot then I suggest you check out this book. It is quite simple and you can read it in minutes if that is your desire. You would be better rewarded by taking your time with each scene, though, and soaking in what is going on around Monsieur Hulot; whether or not he is aware that anything is going on.

This was the most fun I have had with a book in a long time. There are 22 “scenes,” perhaps “tableaus,” each consisting of two pages. The “set-up” is on the recto (righthand page) and then you turn the page to see the “punchline” on the verso (lefthand page.)

My favorites, for assorted reasons, are:

  • The Moon Walk
  • Globe Trotter
  • The Umbrella Corner
  • Chameleon
  • The Eternal Smile
  • The Crossing
  • Attention
  • A Tall Tale
  • A Butterfly Moment

I honestly do not remember there being any stinkers in the bunch. I think it could be great to read with kids but they might need some help with context. I mean, Neil Artmstrong’s footprints on the moon? Of course, I would really love to hear the stories an inventive three- to four-year old might tell based on the pictures.

There are no words, except for those on the occasional street sign or awning or a sound effect or two.

Highly recommended for story lovers of all ages. Especially those who appreciate whimsy, lightheartedness and kindness in their humor.

This is the 38th book in my GN2015

Stavans and Alcaraz – A Most Imperfect Union

A Most Imperfect Union: A Contrarian History of the United States by Ilan Stavans and Lalo Alcaraz

Date read: 18-20 February 2015

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Image of cover of Stavans and Alcaraz - A Most Imperfect Union

Hardback, xv, 269 pages

Published 2014 by Basic Books

Source: Deschutes Public Library (STAVANS ILAN)

I wanted so much more from this.

There is so much sarcasm here, at different levels, that it becomes an obstacle to knowing how to take much of it. The author, Stavans, jumps right in in the five-page Foreword. He doesn’t need to sell me on the “immigrant perspective”—I value such critiques—but he does on some of his stereotypes of Americans throughout the book. I agree in most cases, but I sometimes want a little support. Also, I despise broad-brush generalizations as a simplification device; or, for most any reason.

Sadly, though, I think they are mostly preaching to the choir. Anyone who truly needs this book will probably never read very far in it; that is, if they ever even pick it up.

Give it a try and see how you relate to it. I guess I wanted sharper, more pointed critique that was not simply stereotypes being thrown around.

This is the 37th book in my GN2015

This is the 11th book in my Traditional Chesterfield armchair

Tobin and Dewey – I Was The Cat

I Was The Cat by Paul Tobin and Benjamin Dewey and others

Date read: 16 February 2015

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cover of I Was The Cat by Paul Tobin and Benjamin Dewey and others

Hardback, 186 pages

Published 2014 by Oni Press

Source: Deschutes Public Library (TOBIN PAUL)

Grabbed this the same time I got Ratfinger at the public library. They were next to each other and their spine titles juxtaposed so damnably well.

… | Ratfinger | I Was The Cat | …

Ratfinger pulled stronger and I took it off the shelf to look at first. I decided to take it and although I had pretty much dismissed the cat book I took it off the shelf to take a gander at. Looked decent enough and, again, the juxtaposition of titles was there. Fate, I guess. Truth be told, I enjoyed this more in the end.

Seems our cat was at least eight other cats. Cats you may well know of and have seen in photos or movies. Others most certainly you have not heard of. Our cat, Burma, has been around. He has orchestrated many schemes. He may be scheming now.

Recommended for any librarians [only because we all so love them, right?] / cat-loving / slightly twisted history fans out there.

This is the 36th book in my GN2015

Moon and Bá – De: Tales

De: Tales : Stories from Urban Brazil by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá

Date read: 12 February 2015

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cover of De: Tales by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá

Hardcover, 112 pages

Published October 2010 by Dark Horse Books (“This book was originally published as a softcover edition in June 2006.”)

Source: Deschutes Public Library (MOON FABIO)

Moon and Bá are twin brothers from Brazil who share a love and talent for graphic novels and comics. I have also read Daytripper by these two. Stories, anecdotes, scenes from their lives, perhaps?

Contents:

  • El camino (“The path”)
  • Estrela (“Star”)
  • Outdated
  • Late for coffee
  • As if
  • Reflections I
  • Reflections II
  • All you need is love
  • Qu’est-ce que c’est? (What is it?)
  • Happy birthday, my friend!
  • Saturday
  • Outras palavras (“Other words”)

Fact or fiction, they are pretty enjoyable and the book as a whole is a very fast read.

This is the 35th book in my GN2015

Atkeson and Miller – Ski & Snow Country

Ski & Snow Country: The Golden Years of Skiing in the West, 1930s-1950s by Ray Atkeson; essay by Warren Miller

Date read: 11-12 February 2015

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cover of Ski & Snow Country: The Golden Years of Skiing in the West, 1930s-1950s by Ray Atkeson

Hardback, 120 pages

Published 2000 by Graphic Arts Center Publishing

Source: Deschutes Public Library (796.93 ATKESON RAY)

Another excellent collection of 100 black & white images of Atkeson’s ski and snow pictures. Based on technique alone these images ought get 5 stars but as the title suggests the focus is narrower than in Oregon, My Oregon and skiing is not something I ever took up. In fact, this book has been quite educational to see how short of a period of time good equipment for the masses has actually been available. I must admit the tug of some of the action shots but I think it’s beyond the time I might take up downhill skiing. Perhaps cross-country at some point but we need to use our snowshoes more first. Not that we’ve had much opportunity this winter whether we wanted to or not.

The introductory essay is by Warren Miller, famous skiing filmmaker. The two became friends in 1949, meeting in Squaw Valley. The essay was written in 2000 and as the note to readers says on the title page verso:

“There are undoubtedly some errors in dates, time, and places in this book due to most events happening fifty or more years ago. I have tried to be as accurate as my memory of the events and the occasional phone call for verification allows. — Warren Miller”

Highly recommended, especially for fans of skiing, skiers, those interested in the early decades of skiing in the western US, and anyone who simply enjoys black & white photos of snow (and often other things along with the snow).

This is the 10th book in my Traditional Chesterfield armchair

Quadbeck-Seeger – World of the Elements: Elements of the World

World of the Elements: Elements of the World, 1st ed., by Hans-Jürgen Quadbeck-Seeger, with kind support from BASF; translation by ??

Date read: 16 January – 08 February 2015

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Cover of Quadbeck-Seeger's World of the Elements

Hardback, 111 pages

Published 2007 by WILEY-VCH

Source: COCC Barber Library (QD 466 .Q3313 2007)

Let me just start with saying this book is crap. There. Out of the way.

No idea who the translator is as I cannot find any translation note; I must assume the author did the translation. There is a German-language edition, with a blue cover, which I found at the Deutschen Nationalbibliothek. The translation is fine, although at times it seems to vary between British and American usage and there is at least one “und” that the proofreader missed.

My main gripe is just who is the intended audience for this book? It is an odd mix of fairly serious science which attempts to give us some of the chemistry and physics of the periodic table and of the individual elements, while also educating us on other schemes for laying out the elements in a meaningful order; these efforts still go on, by the way. Not only do I not know who the intended audience is, I do not think there is one. The easy material can be found most anywhere and the more difficult material is only of use to a completely different set of readers. It is a really mixed bag of content.

Nowhere does the author ever define just what is an element. I have no real understanding as to why I am supposed to accept that some man-made by-product of a nuclear bombardment that has a half-life of 2.6 seconds is an actual element. I believe that the author attempted to educate us about such things with talk of periodicity and other issues but, in my opinion anyway, the important dots are never connected. I do know that there are perfectly good theoretical reasons why these man-made elements qualify but this author does not make it clear.

The entries for each element show: where it is located in a color-coded periodic table, its abbreviation, atomic number, atomic weight, images of things made from the element, an info box on discoverers, derivation of the name, and a list of properties. But most of these properties, although ostensibly written in English, contain so many other terms from physics and chemistry that are never defined that you really are just caught in a web of words and learn little about the actual properties of the elements. And if you already knew enough to fully understand most entries then this would not ever be a book you would need.

Some other editing problems: Under Curium (96) Pierre Curie’s dates are listed as (1958-1906) (p. 80). OK, I know Pierre died gruesomely but it wasn’t 52 years before he was born gruesome. Element 77, Proactinium, has Properties text that just runs out mid-sentence.

Throughout some of the discussions of topics, and even within some Properties for various elements, issues of philosophy of science arise and are generally brushed off as “spooky,” which they kind of are. Also, this book is not the place to try and address those as the author (correctly) acknowledges. But then we get near the back of the book…

In the section, “The Elements and Life” we get a list of the three criteria that most “definitions” of life require. These criteria will not tell us whether something is alive but can help us rule out that which is not. But then the author adds a fourth criteria: “All life wants to live!

Um. No. No fucking way! Until we get a much better grip on what “life” is or isn’t this kind of talk is utter nonsense and a category-mistake of the highest order. Life wants nothing. Life is not the kind of thing that can want. Now if he was to say that “All individual life forms want to live” he would get some credit. Of course, we are well aware that this is also not the case as many humans and other animals simply do give up their will to live. Perhaps we could claim “The exception … blah blah.” But life wants not a goddamned thing!

Two pages later same section, there is a breakout box talking about how the number 4 (and 5, and 6) occur over and over in nature. The author ends with

“We can only take note of these facts, and even partly explain them. But we must be careful not to draw any deeper conclusions. Or did someone have an idea to combine arithmetic and life?”

WTF?! So much for no “spookiness.” Seriously though, these two entities are simply things that cannot be combined. Mathematics is a descriptive language and can be used, in many ways, to describe living entities. But it does not describe life and they cannot be combined either. And just who was supposed to do this combining? Spooky.

In the boxes for the discoverers there are often two entries with different dates. Seemingly willy-nilly sometimes the oldest is on top and sometimes the most recent date is on top. Often the descriptions in these boxes leave one wondering at the actual “discovery” of the element.

I think the author did a reasonable but mostly ineffectual job as I do not think either the author or publisher (or between them) ever had a good idea who the audience was. The proofreaders did OK but missed a few glaring things. The book designer/layout folks completely and utterly blew the design of this book.

There are so many books for the general public about chemistry and particularly the periodic table and the elements that this book should be skipped. In fact, I have another book on the elements geared to a popular audience that I checked out the same day; I am hoping I can give it a better review.

Leave this book alone except in a dire emergency. And then, good luck!

This is the 9th book in my Traditional Chesterfield armchair

Pilot Butte Inspiration

I walked to, around and back home from Pilot Butte again this morning. Early in the trip, as I started to swing around the south side from the west to the east the low morning sun was directly in my eyes and casting long shadows all the way around to the northeast side. The assorted high desert grasses were glistening in the sun from the frozen dew still clinging to them.

The various playing of the light, amongst other wonderful things, was very inspiring this morning. I started thinking about how I was looking forward to when I can finally say I ran the base trail. I also decided I was looking forward to my next summiting, and especially—more long-term, of course—my first summit running the entire way. The Pilot Butte Challenge is barely a dream at this point.

On the way home I started thinking I ought try and make a small observation of my hike—kind of like Dave Bonta does from his porch each morning. I focused on the sunlight and glistening grasses from earlier. I had a couple thoughts and wrote them down as soon as I got home, quickly hashed them out and then tweeted my 1st #PilotButte observation:

Blistering low morning sun casting lengthy shadows : the high desert grasses wear glistening mantles. #PilotButte

https://twitter.com/mrlindner/status/565184974928609280 ]

I may try and keep that up. I do want to pay attention also as I get exercise. The spiritual may be as important as the physical right now.

Clearly the inspiration was evident in my next tweet:

Hey #inBend runners, I haven’t bought a pair of tights since the last century. What do I need to know about 21st-c running tights?

https://twitter.com/mrlindner/status/565205249808281600 ]

While I was walking I realized that if I wasn’t going to wait until high summer to run outdoors I will need tights. I may have a pair still but, if so, they are at least 20 years old and worn out. A nice colorful new pair sounds like just the thing to provide a little inspiration of their own.

As I stated previously, I am attempting to walk around (or up and down) Pilot Butte an average of 1x/week this year. So far, I have accomplished this 9 times and we’re only in week 7. I am also attempting to complete the Century Club this year but if I meet (or exceed) my average then I will have.

I am also attempting to walk a minimum of 8 mi/week knowing I still need to get my average up to that point. To this point my averages have been:

  • Week 1*: 3.2 mi
  • Week 2: 7.4 mi
  • Week 3: 5.27 mi
  • Week 4: 10.85 mi
  • Week 5: 7.83 mi
  • Week 6: 2.98 mi
  • Week 7: 6.25 mi^
  • * Week 1 was only 1-3 Jan (Thu-Sat)
  • ^ This week still has four days and I will be walking a decent bit, I hope, in Astoria Friday through Sunday.

So last week was a bust. Oh well. It happens. The weather was somewhat unpleasant for a while but not sure what was the real issue.

Back at home this morning, after a delicious homemade 2nd breakfast, I realized I should look at Runkeeper to see what kind of elevation change I face on this walk.

Screen capture from Runkeeper showing my pace and elevation change across my hike this morning

My pace and elevation change across my hike this morning. I love that the pace is still dropping at that elevation spike between 1.9-2.3 mi.

Looking at those numbers I decided to screen shot it and tweet it:

I may be seriously out of shape but Pilot Butte & I are coming to terms. (Home to base trail around to home.) pic.twitter.com/HY79LGB4or

https://twitter.com/mrlindner/status/565242435283214336 ]

My time just keeps improving and I wasn’t even particularly working it this morning. I am not sure what is making me unhappy lately but this—all of it—I am very happy about.

Robertson – Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker

Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker: 200 Ultra-Convenient, Super-Tasty, Completely Animal-Free Recipes by Robin Robertson

Date read: 02-08 February 2015

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cover of Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker by Robertson

Paperback, 324 pages

Published 2012 by The Harvard Common Press

Source: Skimmed initial copy from public library (641.5636 ROBERTSON ROBIN) and then bought us a copy via amazon

We recently—mostly at my behest—acquired a slow cooker of a size manageable to just us two. Thus, I grabbed a stack of slow cooker books from the public library. Browsing through this one, about halfway in, I decided I wanted my own copy. A few days later I ordered it. I browsed some of it again the day I received it and made our first dish from it the very next day, Barley Orzotto with White Beans and Vegetables. Quite tasty. Also a record by several orders of magnitude for time from acquisition to making 1st dish.

The book is one of the most up-to-date and it includes lots of tips for using various specific ingredients, on the potential need for assorted sizes of crock pots, etc. I also identified quite a few recipes I would like to try for us and when I asked the wife to look through it she filled more than two sides of a piece of paper with things she was interested in trying. I would call this a “Score!”

Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Slow Cooker Basics
  • Snacks and Appetizers
  • Soups That Satisfy
  • Stews and Chili
  • Beans and Grains
  • Hearty Main Dishes
  • Simply Stuffed
  • Vegetable Love
  • Condiments from the Crock
  • Don’t Forget Dessert
  • Breakfast and Bread
  • Hot Drinks
  • Measurement Equivalents
  • Index

Lots of good information on how to best use one’s slow cooker and to best use various ingredients to make amazing food easily. If you are looking into using a slow cooker more this is a good book. Yes, it is for vegans but neither of us are; although Sara is vegetarian. We can always ignore the “use vegan” this-that-or-the-other-thing notes about keeping it vegan. The content—seemingly like 85-95%—of most other slow cooker books that are not specifically for vegans or vegetarians primarily only include meat recipes. It is far easier to add meat (or other protein) than it is to “remove” it. I greatly appreciate the focus on things I can make for both of us.

And no worries on the meat front. I already turned 3 lbs of pork shoulder into tasty shredded pork in the slow cooker. And before that I made Saison Dupont shredded chicken from chicken breasts in it. I just didn’t get those recipes from this book. :D

The freezer is a wonderful place. I wonder how soon it’ll be before we need a small chest freezer.

This is the 8th book in my Traditional Chesterfield armchair